Way back last year I chose the following verse for Christ Church as a focus for us in 2020. It is from Philippians 4.6: Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
There is a certain simplicity about this verse that we might think is quite naive given the kind of year we have had so far. I would suggest that this very simplicity helps us to find our anchor, our safe place, our security. The world is complicated enough, life with Covid-19 throws us into confusion and we have feelings that seem out of proportion to our usual lives and emotions.
We feel angry, frustrated and sad; yet we find ourselves maybe feeling fortunate too and delighting in just seeing a friend or family member. All that we have known seems to be up in the air one moment and back in its place the next. Everyone has an opinion on, well, everything. There is fake news, truth (according to whom?) and new rules and guidance to live by that seems to change way to frequently.
We have all heard so much and personally I’ve read far too much that coming to a simple Bible verse for reflection is actually rather therapeutic. I find this verse to be a call to continue prayerfully in my usual practice – prayer, supplication and thankfulness to God. A call to persevere in prayer and action as much as we can in the circumstances so that our lives find that steady anchor that we all look for when times are difficult especially. It’s then that we receive the peace of God which truly does pass our understanding. We might feel in the middle of a crisis but the peace of God can overwhelm us and bless us sometimes when we are least expecting it.
So, spend a little while with that verse and keep practicing what it says to your heart. We have a great God who longs for us to experience his peace and blessings as we fall on his mercy and love with all of our being – ranting and raving are acceptable to God, our heartfelt cries and pleas and our prayers of rejoicing and thanksgiving too. Getting through difficult times such as we experience right now isn’t rocket science (although that could help!) it is about continuing in our usual patterns of prayer and looking to the Lord for help and expecting him to deliver just what we need.
Our services continue at 10.30am on Sundays through September when we will celebrate Holy Communion. There will also be a short service of Morning Prayer each week accessed on our Facebook page or from the church website – also at 10.30am.
Stay safe and stay healthy – looking forward to seeing you.