Dear sisters and brothers in Christ
As you will know, we will be opening the doors of our beautiful building on Sunday afternoons for an hour of individual private prayer. The space is ready, and I am so grateful to those who were able to come along to offer their expertise, and hands and feet to make this happen.
The space is ready, I wonder if we are ready?
It is now over 3 months since we worshipped together in our church building. I pray that you have had a sense of worship in whatever ways you have been able to engage, either with online services from this or other churches, listening to the radio, or using liturgy and finding your own time and space. I believe that we have continued to worship together, as broken pieces of bread scattered in our own homes, yet part of one body.
I pray also that you have found your own way to pray. Again either through online offerings, the resources we have sent out, or in your own rhythm and space. I believe that God is beyond walls, beyond buildings, and beyond even the limits of our own minds, hearts and souls. I'm reminded of some of the words in the beautiful hymn The Day thou gavest, "The voice of prayer is never silent, nor dies the strain of praise away ... Hour by hour fresh lips are making your wondrous doings heard on high".
And so if it is true that despite the inability to gather in our sacred space, we have continued to worship, and continued to pray, as a corporate body, even if there have been times when individually that has been difficult, are we ready, as both individuals and corporately, to enter that space again, and for what shall we pray?
One of the desert fathers said "Go sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything". This sounds perhaps like inaction, but I think there is profound wisdom and profound faith in this sentence. Be still, watch and wait. This is not "nothing", it is in fact "something", it is a place to be led to the One who invites us to come, all who labour and are heavy laden, to find rest.
And so I want to encourage you, on Sunday afternoon between 2pm and 3pm, to find a time to pray. It could be in the beautiful sacred space that we know as church. It could be in a quiet place in your home. It could be during a walk, or in the midst of chatter and activity of family life. Rather than try to find words to pray, perhaps together we can simply be aware of God,
It would be wonderful to hear about your experiences of prayer, of being still in God's presence, of simply being aware of God, as we continue to navigate our way through these unique times, do please let me know.
With every blessing, as always
Rev Becky Waring
Vicar St Martins Knowle
Area Dean Bristol South