I am not going to write too much today, as I want to focus on a Prayer instead. It seems to be that many of us are feeling a heaviness right now, especially as the days get shorter and the nights get longer.
We are working on how our common life can be sustained during this pandemic. When the lockdown was announced, we introduced online worship six days a week and other opportunities to gather/connect and, of course, we started to produce weekly reflections as well. We hope to create new ways where people can gather safely for fellowship, to mark special moments and shared learning….watch this space!
On this last point, I wanted to make an invitation – there may be a poem, some bible verse(s) or something you have read that has really sustained you this year. If you would like to share that with the St Paul’s family, why don’t you email me at [email protected] or drop me a copy or reference it? I would so enjoy that!
I often come across prayers. A few weeks ago we had a daily prayer on racism and I used one this week at Morning Prayer, a prayer attributed to St Brendan, an Irish saint. I find the Celtic tradition and Psalms articulate well where we are as a people during the uncertainties of the pandemic and everything else that is a storm at the moment. St Brendan ‘The Navigator’ is associated with sailing and here is the attributed prayer (slightly different to the one I used but see what you think) I wanted to share:
Lord, I will trust You, Help me to journey beyond the familiar and into the unknown. Give me faith to leave the old ways and break fresh ground with you.
Christ of the mysteries, Can I trust You to be stronger than each storm in me? Do I still yearn for Your glory to lighten me? I will show others the care You’ve given me.
I will determine amidst all uncertainty always to trust. I choose to live beyond regret, and let You recreate my life.
I believe You will make a way for me and provide for me, if only I trust You and obey. I will trust in the darkness and know that my times are still in Your hand. I will believe You for my future, chapter by chapter, until the story is written.
Focus my mind and my heart upon You, my attention always on You without alteration. Strengthen me with Your blessing and appoint to me the task. Teach me to live with eternity in view. Tune my spirit to the music of heaven. Feed me, and, somehow, make my obedience count for You.
The this a decision to trust – sometimes that is easy and often it is not. This is a prayer to wrestle with. You may wish to print all or part of this for your own Spiritual Practices and I look forward to hearing from you and sharing the riches that you have from your treasure store. This may be done in this format or at Morning or Night Prayer.
With my love and prayers,
 This version of St Brendan’s Prayer; Anna M. Townsend: “Destination Transformation: A forty-day journey to change the world” (2015).