Prayer for Liverpool
Maybe it’s an effect of the lockdown, that all the confessions are coming out now! Inspired by yesterday’s gospel and the wonderful reflection from Canon Leslie of the thoughts and experiences of Teddy Horsley….voici la famille ‘Pooh’! My own collection of Pooh Bears who have been with me since……University?! Yes indeed, perhaps you thought a younger age? Well, it was one of those strange things that came from endless cups of coffee and conversations with friends at my college in Durham. I think it was after a particularly difficult Physics problems class that I returned to college to declare to all around me that I was definitely a ‘bear of very little brain’! And that was it – from that point on I became Pooh in our group of friends, and we assigned appropriate A. A. Milne characters to each of us…all of which were pretty accurate; including this bear of very little brain!
And the family has grown over the years; Pooh bears of all sizes and shapes – and they have become my helpers, and my comforters too, if truth be told, over the many years since. In more recent times, they have especially helped in situations such as all-age worship or at primary school services….or even classes for much older ones too! They can help and inspire in so many ways – as indeed does the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, the Helper, the comforter, mentioned again in yesterday’s gospel…..when we are taken back to words uttered by Jesus around the table at the last supper. After he had shared with them the new commandment, he brings to light the Helper that will be there to help them achieve just that – to love one another just as Jesus had loved them. Perhaps knowing just how much they will need such helper in a world in which it could be immensely challenging to do just that……to love one another, no matter what. As Jesus did, as he showed that he did in the most immense way possible – by the giving up of his own life.
But how do we know it is there for us; this Holy Spirit, this Helper – one that comes in different forms, just as the bears above are all Pooh, but characterised in different ways. One of the chief claims theologically about the Holy Spirit is its diversity – in the forms that it takes and the context of how, when and where too. These are perhaps deep thoughts for a conversation another day – but in the everyday around us, I see the spirit which helps us to love one another being enacted, in fact, everywhere – wherever kindness, generosity, love and graciousness are being shown in the words and deeds of so many people around. Perhaps that’s the only deeply theological act we need right now – to see that in helping each other, whoever we are of whatever background and in whatever context, then that is loving one another as Jesus did; and whoever does so, in whatever shape or form, therein lies the work of the Helper, the Holy Spirit.
In this week Oh Lord, may your Helper, your Holy Spirit, work in me, through me, all around me…..for the good of others. Amen.
With my love and prayers for you all; stay safe….
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