Church of England Diocese of Manchester St. James Daisy Hill

Saying for Stillness August 2020

Sayings for Stillness are Provided by the Fellowship of Contemplative Prayer 

August 2020

“The Father … will … fill you with wonder”

John 5.20 (J B Phillips)

The healing of the sick man at the pool of Bethesda is the third miracle recorded

by John in his Gospel. The healing took place on the Sabbath, giving rise to

another clash with the authorities - not because Jesus disagreed with the

principle of the Sabbath but because of the imposed petty restrictions which

often worked against God’s purpose of giving the people a weekly day of rest.

Jesus knew that God’s activity in the world did not finish with the act of creation

but is continuous and ongoing.

The involvement of the Almighty in the smallest concerns of humankind

should not be doubted, however much we sometimes feel that God is absent

from the world and its woes. Jesus assures his followers that he is following the

way of his Father: “Just as the Father raises the dead and makes them live, so

does the Son give life to any man he chooses” (v 21). The evidence of God’s

hand in his creation is evident if we look for it and will fill us with wonder if our

eyes and hearts are receptive.

As this is being written, the world seems a strange and vulnerable place, quite

different from the one in which we have been accustomed to live. Boundaries

have been crossed, systems overwhelmed, nations have been brought to their

knees and solutions have eluded even the best scientists and politicians. But

within that disintegration have been moments and events of revelation that

give rise to wonder: individual experiences have come to the fore and been

all-important. The love and care of others, even when expression has had to be

virtual, has sustained people in a new way. The weeks of gradual new life as the

year unfolded encouraged and gave hope.

There has been, and still is, huge suffering, with hardship, broken hopes and

bereavement – some people have found praying difficult. Underlying anxiety

constrains us and is the enemy of the openness of contemplative prayer, which

allows us to receive whatever arises in us and gently release it into God’s hands.

‘And now we offer to you … as an emptiness to be filled with your Divine

Fullness, all that we are, all that we have and all that we do’ - we allow the

Father to fill us with wonder.

A link to the Fellowship website is below

Below is a link to a contemplative exercise or reflection on this Word.

Below an interesting article related to contemplative payer on COVID19