Prayer for Liverpool
I noticed on Twitter recently that one of my clergy colleagues from my Hull days had undergone a bit of a makeover. During his seven years with working with me his hair had gone from a rich dark black to grey – make of that what you will! His bored twin daughters had decided that he is now looking ‘too much like an old man’ so decided that it was time for a hefty dose of hair dye. So he is back to having a handsome mop of black hair – at least for the moment. Quite what he will look like as the hair grows on I have no idea. It was certainly a brave and trusting move on Matt’s part, to let them loose on his hair. I don’t think he trusted them enough to try cutting it though. I’ve seen some ‘interesting’ attempts at self-service DIY haircuts on the internet in recent days.
In my last two blogs, I’ve encouraged you to celebrate both the creativity of the Creator in giving us a world full of natural treasures, and the creativity of human beings who, by being made in God’s image, are intrinsically creative themselves. Indeed, at times of great adversity, that creativity is blossoming and bringing both pleasure to ourselves and others. God, however, did not just leave his good creation to its own devices – he didn’t simply wind up the clockwork toy and set it off, not caring whether it careered off its path and off the edge of the table. No, when he saw that ‘there may be trouble ahead’ as humans decided to put themselves in the place of God, his creativity came up with a plan for a makeover of all humanity. This would be a plan for re-creation. And it wouldn’t be merely skin deep, or temporary, like hair dye.
It all began with the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary, as we celebrated on the 25th March, when he announced to her that she would bear God’s son, Jesus – a name which means ‘God saves’. Jesus duly arrived that first Christmas and, around the age of 30, began his ministry of preaching and teaching, healing, and declaring that the Kingdom of God was coming near. After his initial ministry in Galilee and the lands around it, he sets his face towards Jerusalem, and the action shifted towards the real reason for his coming to earth, namely to give his life for the re-creation of the world, and to become ‘the firstborn from the dead’ (Colossians 1:18). Through him, we are all given the opportunity to be caught up in his resurrection and to be re-created: “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see everything has become new!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Remarkably, as humanity experiences God’s heavenly make-over, creation itself will be re-created: “For creation itself waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:19-20). Wow – that is deep stuff. And it reminds us that, as we are so concerned about our own short-term survival as humans, we must not forget the long-term well-being of the natural world around us. For it and we are interdependent – neither can flourish without the well-being of the other.
We are about to enter into the solemn remembrance of the events of that first Holy Week, as we recall Jesus’ journey from the Entry into Jerusalem to his hanging on the cross of Golgotha. It is more than a recalling, though; it is an invitation to enter into those momentous events – a conscious placing of ourselves into that story, as if we were there. We will, indeed, be standing and walking on holy ground.
As we do so, and as we see creation coming to life around us and human creativity blossoming too, may we give thanks to God that his creativity continued with a cosmic plan for our re-creation and for the renewal of his good creation. God brought new life out of what appeared to be the signed and sealed certainty of death. This is truly mind-blowing; but the joy of it all is that God invites us to play our part in his on-going work of re-creation – for we too are caught up in his divine makeover. Remarkably, a bit like my friend having the courage to let his daughters loose with the black hair dye, God takes the risk with us by letting us have a go. I, for one, am delighted that he does.
While you're here:
Why not prepare for next Sunday's worship? Our preparation sheet for adults and for children can be accessed by clicking on the Resources tab of this website: https://www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html.
Prayer for Liverpool
brought to you from Liverpool Cathedral
St James Mount
Liverpool Cathedral is a place of encounter.
Built by the people, for the people, to the Glory of God