The congregation were asked to write down their wishes for the new year.
Click on this "Word Picture" to see them all.
You may find this list of opportunities to access services/Christian content on radio/TV and on-line helpful: the Daily Service at 9.45 on Radio 4 long-wave The Sunday Service on Radio 4 at 8.10am Songs of Praise Sunday 1.15pm ish on BBC1 Choral Evensong Sunday Radio 3 at 3pm and repeated on Wednesday Radio 3 at 3.30pm Tim Daykin Radio Solent Sunday 6-9am for worship songs, interesting information and a feeling of connectedness
The other day while walking through town (having done some ‘essential’ shopping!) I found myself chatting with someone I recognised as being a Romsey resident but didn’t know by name. She shared with me her concern about a family member, a consultant in the NHS, and the risk she was taking every day of contracting Covid-19 because she was in such close contact with people who were ill with the Virus.
I could empathise. Two members of my family are ‘front-line’ NHS workers, and two others volunteering – all coming into close contact with very poorly people and, like every single one of the medical, nursing and supporting member of the NHS staff, are selflessly serving people at their deepest physical and emotional need. The lady I was chatting with and I parted after affirming how important it is to continue to pray, to meet the spiritual needs of people too, even though it does not feel so easy to do sometimes.
Yes, sometimes it feels like a real struggle to pray, because of the difficult situations we find ourselves in; in our deep concern for friends and loved-ones. Sometimes we find it difficult to concentrate, what with so many worldly concerns going on around us. I remember how, when Paul was in prison (as we might feel we are imprisoned if we are self-isolating), he wrote to the church community in Colossae of a fellow prisoner and tireless worker for Christ who was striving to pray for them:
“Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.” (Colossians 4:12)
Wrestling in prayer, that’s a picture isn’t it! Maybe we can relate to this in our prayer, amid the present times. Yet as much as we may feel so isolated let us remember that, even as Paul was experiencing such great loneliness in prison, he also felt strongly connected to his fellow Christians – by prayer. They were all praying for each other, for the often chaotic and hazardous world around them, for loved ones. They were connected by, and found such huge comfort and encouragement through, prayer!
So let us follow Jesus’ advice and ‘pray always’ as in the story he told of the persistence of the widow who would not give up (Luke 18:1-5). Let us pray for one another, for our loved ones; let us honestly express our fears and anxieties to God, and let us remember to pray for all those tirelessly working in the NHS, in government, and in the world of science and technology, for our health and wellbeing.
This time last week the number of people world-wide who have made full recovery from the Virus was in excess of 79,000. Now it is more than 160.000 (as at 30.03.2020)
If you would like to contribute a prayer, poem or reflection for the weekly Sunday service outline please contact Mike.