Rector's Ramblings: February 14th 2021

 

 

Rector’s Ramblings: February 14th 2021

     Decision time is here. What will you do for Lent? Traditionally we talk about giving things up but perhaps this year we feel we have already had to give up a great deal and not by choice. So can I encourage you to focus on Jesus: Who is he? Who is he to you? Talk to him, read about him in a gospel, give time to sit with him and ask him to talk to you.

  Come along to the Lent sessions. They might not feel like your cup of tea but give them a go. On Zoom you can sit with the mute button on and not be required to say anything! I won’t feel it’s the same as leading a group in person in the hall but at least we have Zoom. There may be something there for you this year. Start with the Zoom Ash Wednesday service which by its nature will be more formal.

   Now to offer you something else if nothing draws you otherwise. Do you have a favourite prayer? Dig it out and pray with it. See what happens. I’m going to offer you three prayers that are among my favourites – all from different centuries.

  1. The first is from St Richard of Chichester (1197 – 1253):

Thanks be to you, our Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits which you have given us,
for all the pains and insults which you have borne for us.
Most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother,
may we know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly,
day by day.
Amen.

     How do you feel about the idea that Jesus Christ endured pains and insults for your sake? Does it help you to cope with suffering and rejection in your own life? For me, the last lines of that prayer have long been my heartfelt desire. Can they be yours?

 

  1. Now Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596) – I have put the full version of this prayer on the website but how do you respond to this part? So often we want peace and quiet but here we pray for adventure and daring with God.

Disturb us, Lord,

to dare more boldly,

To venture on wider seas

Where storms will show your mastery;

Where losing sight of land,

We shall find the stars.

We ask You to push back

The horizons of our hopes;

 And to push into the future

In strength, courage, hope, and love.  

 

  1. Finally for today, Thomas Merton (1915-1968): this prayer is such a relief when you’re unsure and uncertain

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.

I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.

And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. Amen

 

  Enjoy these prayers. Let them speak to you of comfort and of challenge. If you have a favourite prayer that you’d like me to share on this site, then email me at vivien.elphick@btinternet.com