As the world struggles to emerge from lockdown, the Church remembers the confusion of the disciples of Jesus as they facelife without him after the crucifixion. Jesus is dead yet risen; how is that? During his life Jesus promised his disciples that he would always be with him and after that first Easter, they knew his presence and yet they were confused about what to do next. It was the promise that Jesus made that helped these lost men and women face a world with courage and not a little determination. The promise was for an advocate, a guide and an encourager. The disciples believed that when they gather, Jesus was with them. It is our heartfelt wish that the church will once again gather, and we look forward in future days to doing that.
But we also believe that God’s Spirit of love will be experienced among us at all times.
If you saw the BBC programme, Hospital, you would have seen the daily miracles of love in action. Putting their own lives in danger, nurses, doctors and hospital staff – ambulance workers, porters and cleaners amongst them – all giving of their best under such stressful circumstances. Here are stories from within our community of great love and service. Of course, we saw that not everyone survived in their fight but we also saw the passion and grief each loss meant to the medical team. For everyone mattered and was important. It was inspiring and heart breaking.
We applaud them, not just on a Thursday night, but every moment of the week. They are heroes! And for Christians and all people of faith, we see in these stories of bravery and dedication, the God of love in action. Something of love shines out from their tired and struggling faces. We hope and pray that they will gain strength from their successes in order to help them through their losses.
Please listen on Sunday to the URC service, found below, where along with Christians throughout the nation you can pray and worship. For your own personal prayers please use this prayer:
who speaks through story and people,
we thank you for the gift of the Spirit
who treasures and honours us,
is always with us
offering direction and meaning to our lives;
and so building us up
to offer our gifts and skills to our communities.
We give thanks that, by your Spirit,
we are in communion with you;
that, by the same Spirit,
we are strengthened and encouraged,
shaped by you into keen disciples,
filled with the energy to spread the Good News.
We give thanks for the gift of peace –
the peace which calms the heart
and grows the spirit;
that makes us whole and beautiful
in your eyes.
We give thanks for the medical staff
dedicating their skills and expertise,
to the service of everyone who needs them.
We give thanks for their courage and strength
and pray that they will find they are loved and honoured.
speak through us and through our story.