Morning Prayer Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Good morning good Cornerstone people. I hope that you are safe and ready to join in some thoughts and prayers for the day. The news is still urging us to stay indoors apart from exercise and essential travel for food or medical appointments. We have to be hermits so let us contemplate on some scripture readings and pray.

Psalm 105 verses 1-10
O give thanks to the Lord and call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the people.

Sing to him, sing praises,
and tell of his marvellous works.

Rejoice in the praise of his holy name;
let the hearts of them rejoice who seek the Lord.

Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his face continually.

Remember the marvels he has done,
his wonders and the judgements of his mouth.

O seed of Abraham his servant,
O children of Jacob his chosen.

He is the Lord our God;
his judgements are in all the earth.

He has always been mindful of his covenant,
the promise that he made for a thousand generations.

The covenant he made with Abraham,
the oath he swore to Isaac.

Which he established as a statute for Jacob,
an everlasting covenant for Israel.

God of our earthly pilgrimage, feed your people with the bread of heaven,
that we may hunger and thirst for righteousness until we reach our promised land;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Mark chapter 1 verses 29-39
As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Now Simon’s mother in law was in bed with a fever and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her and she began to serve them. That evening at sunset they brought to him all who were sick or possessed of demons, and the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
In the morning, while it was still very dark he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him they said to him, ‘Everyone is searching for you.’ He answered, ‘Let us go on to the neighbouring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also, for that is what I came out to do.’ And he went out throughout Galilee proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.

Both readings echo the theme of Epiphany which is making the good news of Our Lord known to the widest audience we can find. Jesus did it by both word and action and that is what I think all of us are called to do. It is what marks out those who have been honoured by the church as ‘saints’ and today the church remembers three such people;
St Hilary, a bishop in Poitiers, Roman Gaul in the fourth century who opposed a powerful heresy by setting out the formal teaching of the church which then became a pattern for future generations.
Kentigern (St Mungo) bishop of Strathclyde and Cumbria, Mungo was a Saxon bishop in the seventh century who extended his diocese and is attributed as establishing the city of Glasgow.
George Fox, born in 1691, founder of the Society of Friends (Quakers) was a dissenter, convinced that each individual had to work out his or her salvation by searching in silence and prayer. He was at odds with the established church and travelled in Europe and North America encouraging ‘friends’ to meet together to share times of silence.
They could all be relevant examples for us in Central Milton Keynes; a clear setting out of what we believe, creating a new city community and ready to see things differently by quiet contemplation.


Let us spend a moment or two in contemplation with some words from Mother Theresa of Calcutta.

‘Let us adore Jesus in our hearts, who spent thirty years out of thirty three in silence; who began his public life by spending forty days in silence; who often retired alone to spend the night on a mountain in silence. He spoke with authority, now spends his earthly life to meet us in silence.
Let us adore Jesus in the eucharistic silence.’

God of gentleness and love draw near to us as we draw near to you,
dwell in every heart and conversation and fashion us in the likeness of your Son Jesus Christ.
Help us to discern together all that you are calling us to be and all that you are calling us to do.
Assist us, by your Spirit to become a more contemplative, more compassionate
and more courageous Church for the building of your kingdom and the glory of your Son.

Let us adore Jesus in our hearts, who often having spent his night in contemplation went out into the world, healing the sick and countering evil; giving us an example of compassion and having completed his ministry on earth gave to those who believe his Holy Spirit as a source of strength and inspiration.
We pray that our strength may be renewed each day and that those who tend the sick, keep our essential services available may be aware of the same strength and guidance. We pray for all those who have lost loved ones or employment; may they find comfort in any who will meet them or talk with them today.

Keep us, good Lord under the shadow of your mercy, sustain and support the anxious,
be with those who are care for the sick and lift up those who are brought low,
that we may find comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from you love
in Christ our Lord.

Let us adore Jesus in our hearts, who gave us his Spirit to give us courage. Let us consider some words of Richard Holloway, former bishop of Edinburgh.
‘There is more to courage than physical bravery. Moral courage is even more important, because it is needed all the time. It takes moral courage to question the received wisdom and to challenge those in power. Those who follow this way can be uncomfortable to live with, but they help societies to cleanse and renew themselves.’

Lord we thank you for your gift of hope, our strength in times of trouble.
Beyond the injustice of our time, its suffering, cruelty and its wars, we look forward to a world of peace when mem and women deal kindly with each other and no one is afraid.
May our lives be a witness to it and may the day come when all the world confesses that you are Lord of all.
Help us to work for it, to wait for it, and to be worthy of it.

Go well. Keep safe and keep acting to keep everyone else safe. This time of testing will pass.

Don Head