Church of England Diocese of Blackburn St. Leonard Penwortham

Thought for the week

31 Mar 2020, 12:15 a.m.

 Whilst praying Sunday morning worship, looking out onto an empty, closed Church building, and reading about Ezekiel and the valley of dry bones, Jesus and the raising of Lazarus, what struck me was that 50 plus years ago people had the vision to build St Leonard’s Church here, to serve the growing community.

The struggles around that have been documented by Peter Milner. It wasn’t straightforward, but nudged by the Spirit to act, they kept going, gradually fulfilling that vision.

At the moment the temptation is to get swallowed up in the immediate, with all the dreadful news around us locally and around our World, to succumb to worries about today and tomorrow because the immediate and short term future are so uncertain, to lose sight of anything beyond.

If the Church is more than the building, and it is, we’re the people of God, what is our VISION? What do we feel God’s Spirit is nudging us to be and do?

It’s hard to see blessings in the present situation, but, maybe one is that we have time to think and pray, yes – for the present, but also for God’s big picture of the future. What are as a Church needing to prepare to be, to do, to go?

The vision that inspired the building was about serving people. With a building, the wonderful resource that it is, we can lose sight of the Church as the people of God in our efforts to maintain what we have. Even if the building is empty and closed, the people of God are praying and being faithful to their calling in new ways.

As a Church we had begun looking at ways we might better serve our community in God’s name and love. Those thoughts might be the seeds that have already begun to sprout with the responses of so many folk – aware of the needs of others and responding.

Take time to glimpse God’s blessings, the often simple things that lift our spirits, make us smile, or just stop and notice. Be thankful for them.

Pray for our community and our world. Pray for the vision God wants us to catch and be in this place.

With my thoughts and prayers