It has not been the best week for us here on earth. I am really hoping that you know that already, otherwise the world would feel an even more threatening place than it already is. Why is it Lord that some people are prepared to take decisions which mean that hundreds, thousands, millions of lives are thrown into chaos? What is it within someone that makes them want to do that? Why do you allow them to do that? Can you not stop them? This past week has been horrendous. From the safety of our sitting rooms we have witnessed on our television screens, families, communities, cities, lives being torn apart. Children embracing their fathers at railway stations as snow falls all around them, trying, failing to understand why they must go away and their daddies remain. Fathers trying, failing, to hold back the tears and make it sound as though it is an exciting adventure their children are going on. One child I saw was being encouraged to carry a bucket and spade, to reinforce the fiction. Will families be able to keep in touch? Will they be able to recharge their ’phones? Will those mothers and their children be able to find anywhere safe to live? Are there people out there who will exploit their vulnerability? Will those fathers survive and see their wives and children again? How will this conflict end, dear Lord? We can only see things getting worse.
At the heart of Kyiv is a beautiful Cathedral where people long to meet with you. It is dedicated to one of your Archangels, Michael. Where are your angels now Lord? I hope that they are alongside all those who have visited that Cathedral Church and offered prayers to you there in the past. I hope that they are alongside anyone who is crying to the Heavens for you to help and save them now. Those who will be praying to you for peace in their homeland. Those who will be praying to you for the safety of their families and friends. Those who will be praying to you for the chance to lie next to someone they love on a warm summer’s afternoon when this is all safely behind us, with the sound of birds singing all around them.
These are frightening days for our fragile world Lord. But I know that it would be worse if we didn’t have you to turn to. We are approaching Holy Week, when we know that you too were the victim of other people’s aggression, injustice, untruth, persecution, cruelty and violence. Please Lord, may all that you knew of pain then, cause you to reach out now with reassurance and with love to those in Ukraine and around your world who need our prayers.
Stay close to us Lord this coming week and be close to all those we pray for. We have never needed you more.
Please join us as we continue to worship, praise and pray, at 9.30am in church and at 5pm on Zoom, on this the Second Sunday in Lent.
This weekend we especially think about the many ways in which our church seeks to support us and how we need to invest in the vision and mission of St Mary’s through our financial giving. In brief, we need more people to give more money, more regularly, for our ministry to thrive. Thank you to all of you who already give so generously, we would not be able to continue without you!
This Sunday’s Collect: ALMIGHTY GOD, YOU SHOW TO THOSE WHO ARE IN ERROR, THE LIGHT OF YOUR TRUTH, THAT THEY MAY RETURN TO THE WAY OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: GRANT TO ALL WHO ARE ADMITTED INTO THE FELLOWSHIP OF CHRIST`S RELIGION THAT THEY MAY REJECT THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE CONTRARY TO THEIR PROFESSION AND FOLLOW ALL SUCH THINGS AS ARE AGREEABLE TO THE SAME. THIS WE ASK THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, WHO LIVES AND REIGNS WITH YOU AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, ONE GOD, NOW AND FOR EVER. AMEN.
You can read St Mary’s Weekly Parish Notices by clicking this link: