Eucharist – Sun 24th May
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This is a special, prayerful time of the year as we await the great festival of the coming of the Holy Spirit of God. How we need that Holy Spirit – each one of us, just now! The Spirit of God renews the face of the earth AND each and every one on it. So let’s pray together that as we look forward to Pentecost next week, we may all be refreshed, renewed and re-invigorated in the service of the Heavenly Father.
The WEEK of WAITING…..
I can, in my imagination, hear the frustration as you say “waiting……..but we have done nothing else for over two months now….”
And indeed this is true at one level. We are all of us waiting: waiting for release from the frustration of being at home all (or most of) the time, waiting to hug and be close to family and friends, waiting for benefits to arrive or for a return to work, waiting for the word about when young people will go back to school, waiting for churches to re-open….and waiting for a dozen other things to happen.
On Thursday last we celebrated Ascension Day, and we know from the scriptures that after seeing Jesus ascend into heaven, the disciples were left waiting in Jerusalem. In our Sunday reading from Acts chapter one we hear “Then they returned to Jerusalem….they went to the room upstairs where they were staying…various men and women are named ….all these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer”.
This waiting and prayer for the disciples was over ten days between Ascension and Pentecost, and was a very specific and focused waiting: for the Holy Spirit to come upon them in power. There were 10 days of prayer which resulted in the Holy Spirit coming. As Jesus’ disciples in the parish of Langley we now have seven days until next Sunday which will be the feast of Pentecost.
Let’s use those seven days well! A Bishop has written this last week that this time of lockdown is the time to deepen our prayer and extend our reading of scripture. Is this how we are using our waiting? Don’t beat yourself up if this hasn’t been the case so far, but do use this opportunity of the seven days before Pentecost to spend time in the prayer of waiting….not waiting in boredom or frustration or sadness…but prayerful waiting in excitement, longing and glad expectation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit teaches us to pray…but we also can be helped by using various resources that are available online. Three of these that I want to personally recommend are:
That we join with our Diocese and Christians in many countries in a global wave of prayer between Ascension and Pentecost, called Thy Kingdom Come. It provides prayers and many digital resources to use this week. Just google: www.thykingdomcome.global
Try: www.taketime.org.uk which provides spoken meditations, in an Ignatian style, on biblical passages, following the Thy Kingdom Come daily readings. You can choose between 5/10/15 or 20 min meditations, the longer of which also contain relaxation exercises.
I recommend the free phone app Lectio 365, a daily devotional resource to help you to pray through the Bible each day. It is 10 minutes of spoken meditation, that contain a structure of four parts: Pause…Reflect….Ask…Yield… which spell P.R.A.Y.
Please feel free to ask any of the clergy or ALMs if you want further help with your life of prayer. May we be more open to receive the gifts and fruits of the Spirit this Pentecost =for the good of our communities, our world, our churches and ourselves.