Monday 13th April
Most weeks, Miss McLellan brought flowers to grace the table. She knew us all by name; Sunday by Sunday she told us Bible stories and invited us, each in turn, to take the collection box round the class as we sang ‘Hear the pennies dropping; listen as they fall”.
It must have been over sixty years ago, yet I remember that Sunday School felt good!
Maya Angelou, American poet and Civil Rights activist hits the nail on the head – “People will forget what you say, forget what you do, but never forget how you made them feel”
Reflecting on their walk from Jerusalem to Emmaus on the evening of that First Easter Day maybe Cleopas and his companion would agree.
They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he (Jesus) talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24 verse 32) Maybe, later, they remembered what he said; maybe not. Yet I sense that their encounter with the Risen Jesus – albeit that he went unrecognized – made them ‘feel good’. And you?
Gracious God, we pray that just as in the Risen Jesus you met with two troubled travellers, so you will meet with us as we journey through these troubled times.
They remembered how that encounter felt; may we, too, having walked with you, feel less troubled and more hopeful.
And dare we hope that, in the coming days, those I meet (be that face to face, in telephone conversations or even Skype!) will feel less troubled and more hopeful too, because I have revealed something of your love.
Tuesday 14th April 2020
On Twitter I liked a small diagram which someone has produced which was a sketch with an inner circle and an outer area.
It is headed ‘Control – so in the inner circle are written things I can control like: how often I watch or listen to the news, keeping up with friends and family, pride in the efforts of the NHS and local volunteers, enjoying what I eat, watching the birds from my window, washing my hands as recommended , my kindness and grace
Outside the circle are written things I can’t control : the spread of the virus, how long this will last, the behavior of people who buy up the goods or don’t follow the rules of social distancing , predicting what will happen ….
So this of course leads me to the follow familiar prayer:
‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference ‘
Jonah is famous for being swallowed by a whale but the story is about a clash between Jonah’s wishes and God’s. Jonah doesn’t want to go to Nineveh and he doesn’t want God to save Nineveh but that is what happens. At the end he gets angry with a plant because it died when he wanted shelter. Jonah has to learn that it is not he but God who is control. Did we think we were in control? This is not God’s disaster but it is God’s world and we should remember we are just a part of it.
Creator God, forgive us when in pride and vanity we think we have the mastery of our world. Help us to treat our planet with respect and to tread carefully as we share its resources. Give us the faith that you are in control and that we need not doubt your love and care for each and everyone. Amen