Reflections and Prayers for 1st Sunday after Trinity - 6th June
This week's readings can be found here Mark 3.20-end
Can you remember what year these events took place?
An earthquake in Japan provoked a tsunami that caused the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster;
Osama Bin laden was killed;
Occupy London protesters camped outside St Paul’s cathedral?
I wonder whether they seem a long time ago, or not so long ago. What has changed in your life since these things happened? I have changed jobs and moved house twice; both my children finished school and completed university courses; and as a family we mourned the death of my mother and celebrated the marriage of a son.
In the time of Jesus, life didn’t change very quickly for most people. From one generation to another, children would grow up to lead lives much like their parents, living in the same area, following the same traditions and celebrating the familiar festivals.
When Jesus came along with a message that was fresh and radical, some were excited by it and others where afraid of it. Some launched a campaign to squash it, using among other things, what we today would call, ‘fake news’. Some said Jesus was like a devil and others, including members of Jesus own family, suggested he was out of his mind – See our Gospel reading from Mark 3: 20-end.
CS Lewis, famously said, the one thing Jesus cannot be is a mildly interesting historic figure who did some good. He said that when you look at the evidence, he was either mad or he was bad or he was who he said he was, the Son of God.
Life has moved on and times have changed in the ten years since those events I listed at the beginning of this reflection. What will our lives look like in another ten years? We live in a rapidly changing society, one in which many see church as totally irrelevant to their modern lives. Yet, in so many ways, people are desperately in need of the kind of things that the church is well equipped to offer them: acceptance, peace, time and hope, among so much more. Not because we are anything special, but because Jesus IS the Son of God and we know that he can meet people’s deepest needs, just like he has met ours.
What I Have Learned So Far
Meditation is old and honorable, so why should I not sit, every morning of my life, on the hillside, looking into the shining world? Because, properly attended to, delight, as well as havoc, is suggestion. Can one be passionate about the just, the ideal, the sublime, and the holy, and yet commit to no labor in its cause? I don’t think so.
All summations have a beginning, all effect has a story, all kindness begins with the sown seed. Thought buds toward radiance. The gospel of light is the crossroads of — indolence, or action.
Be ignited, or be gone.
O Lord, we beseech thee to deliver us
from the fear of an unknown future;
from fear of failure; from fear of poverty;
from fear of bereavement; from fear of loneliness;
from fear of sickness and pain;
from fear of age; from fear of death.
Help us, O Father, by thy grace to love and fear thee only,
fill our hearts with cheerful courage and loving trust in thee:
through our Lord and Master Jesus Christ. Amen.
Akanu Ibaim, Nigeria
To Pray for
The G7 summit in Cornwall and discussions about recovering from the pandemic and how to protect and care for the environment.
Parts of the world still in the grip of rising Covid infections, in South America and Asia.
For those anticipating long awaited medical treatment, delayed by the pandemic.