Posted in Letter
At this time my garden has been a blessing and sanctuary for me, and I thank God for it.
I can spend hours each day just mooching about. Moving from one seat to another. Picking out a few weeds as I go and admiring the flowers which are blooming and listening to the bird song which seems louder this year. Time seems to be flowing at a different speed, like a stream which is diverted from the main river’s flow moves more sedately.
In our team meeting this week someone said how hard it is to keep track of time as our normal routines which help us to keep a fix on the passing days aren’t here. Are you clapping for the NHS each Thursday, do you still listen to the daily briefings or, like us have you become too irritated by the repetition and inane questions from the press? Does your daily and weekly routine involve spending time in prayer, worship and reading God’s word? Have you found worship services you can engage with either on the internet or the television?
Graham and I have a variety of routines which help to give structure to our day and week. Each evening at dusk we light a candle in our front window and pray for our street, that the light of Christ will shine in the dark places. We also spend time each Sunday morning at Emmaus where we continue to have a private time of worship and prayer, sharing together in communion.
We are part of an international prayer group, joining them in prayer most weekday evenings. A focus in recent days has been the idea of pausing. In this season between Easter and Pentecost we are being blessed by the Lord with a time to be still in His presence. The Covid pandemic, of course, adds to that as so many of the things we would normally fill our time with we just can’t do.
Some of the Psalms have the word Selah in the margin. I used to just ignore that but a few years ago I heard an explanation that it means to pause or reflect; the Psalmist is inviting us to pause and focus on the meaning of the poem. It has been suggested that this season is one where God is inviting us in our daily lives to Selah; pause, reflect, take time with him.
Find a Bible passage each day that you can mediate on.If you want suggestions the lectionary readings are being shared each week and we can send these on to you.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me like down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet wasters, He restores my soul.
Are you allowing the Lord to lead you beside quiet waters and restore your soul?
Next Thursday is Ascension and then just 10 days until Pentecost. That is a season of anticipation so I encourage you to not miss the moment with God of pausing with him. Just as the natural world has seasons so too the spiritual one.
The Government has given us a road map of when and how the lock down may begin to be lifted. The way is still uncertain and difficult days will continue for many months yet. In these uncertain times I was reminded of the disciples in the boat during the storm.
One day Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let us go over to the other side of the lake.’ So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we’re going to drown!’ He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. ‘Where is your faith?’ he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, ‘Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.’
Is he asking us ‘Where is your faith?’
Jesus continues to be as close to us now as he was to them at that time. We don’t see him but by his Holy Spirit lives in us. My prayer for each of us is that our faith and trust in him will grow day by day.
Graham and Katy Hill, Local Church Leaders