Good morning all on this sunny Bank Holiday weekend!
I hope that this finds you and yours well and in good spirits. Thanks to all those who plied me with culinary offerings as I proceeded through the village and down the Valley yesterday. As I said to my husband, Keith, ‘I have never refused so many glasses of Champagne, Prosecco and various alcoholic offerings – yes, you’ve guessed it … I was driving. Yesterday was, in many ways a never to be forgotten day – however one marked it.
We listened to Her Majesty 9pm as our parents had listened to the King 75 years ago. Her words will resonate for a long time. “But our streets are not empty; they are filled with the love and the care that we have for each other.” “The greatest tribute to their sacrifice is that countries who were once sworn enemies are now friends, working side by side for the peace, health and prosperity of us all.”
And today’s morning prayer Psalm was so very apt. Psalm 34 verses contained a clarion call to do good and to seek peace. And amidst that call was an assurance that the Lord is near the brokenhearted and will save those who are crushed in spirit. And just in case your bible isn’t to hand here are those verses 13 – 15. It is no coincidence that these three verses are quoted at the beginning of the rule of St Benedict as an invitation to all who seek a good life to find it by trusting in God and pursuing goodness and truth.
Who is there who delights in life +
and longs for days to enjoy good things?
Keep your tongue from evil +
and your lips from lying words.
Turn from evil and do good; +
seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous +
and his ears are open to their cry.
In case you are wondering, the little red diamonds (+) indicate that you pause whilst reading a psalm antiphonally. It gives three heartbeats of time to reflect.
Psalm 23 is one that we are encouraged to focus upon at 11am each day. It speaks of how The Lord our Shepherd is with us through this crisis giving rest to the weary, comfort to the bereaved and guidance to the perplexed.
I do commend the Psalms to you at this present time.
Here is Belinda as always climbing over my book stand to remind me to share with you the pod casts of Bishop Steven https://blogs.oxford.anglican.org/series/my-extraordinary-family/ Each lasts between 15 – 20 minutes and focusses upon a different Psalm and how it relates to this time of Pandemic. He has reflections upon Psalms 1 to 3 so far. Do listen in – put them on as you go for your daily exercise. I highly commend them to you.
Looking ahead – tomorrow’s service from the Diocese is at 10 am as usual and I attach the order of service. As you will see it is the 5th Sunday of Easter, VE Day and the beginning of Christian Aid week. The link to the service will be found here https://www.oxford.anglican.org/coronavirus-covid-19/livestream/
For those unable to watch online dial 01865 920930 and, once connected, dial 0 for the full version of the service, or dial 1 for a short version. Standard call rates apply. Please remember there will be a few seconds of silence before the service starts.
I leave you with words from our sovereign lady to whom, when I was ordained swore allegiance “Never give up, never despair”. Queen Elizabeth II.
The Lord bless you, guide you and inspire you,