Prayer for Liverpool
The assessment period at a university is often one of the most stressful aspects of student life; with this one undoubtedly being the strangest and the most difficult in living memory. I often write to all my students just before their exams to help calm their nerves; reminding them of the exam prep and techniques we discussed in class – but also emphasising how the assessments are actually their opportunity to show us what they know and what they’ve learned. I also remind them of how proud I am of them, that if they come away feeling they’ve done their best, then I’ll be happy; and, at the end of it all, that their worth is far greater than a number at the end of the script….who they are is something precious and blessed, no matter what.
This morning’s new testament reading for morning prayer is taken from St Luke’s gospel (13:1-9) and reminds us of God’s love and grace for us all. The parable is of the fig tree failing to bear fruit – the owner is fed up with this happening year on year and want’s done with it. But the gardener has greater patience, greater love….greater faith in what the fig tree is capable of. With the right care, right circumstances, he still believes it can bear good fruit, show what it can do…given the right opportunity.
And I firmly believe that’s exactly what we’ve got before us in these times – opportunity; opportunity to learn from what has happened in the recent past, during this lockdown period – the kindness and generosity shown, the desire to help and volunteer for those in need; the outreach, connections and expressions of love in so many different forms, especially for those we hardly know. The God of love knows what we are capable of and gives us all the strength, spirit and courage to seize such opportunities and be the love of Christ in our lives for the lives of others. We all have borne fruit, but can all continue to do so and more so, through God’s loving direction, nurture and care.
And what an opportunity we have in wider circles too. Today marks National Windrush Day – a day to remember and celebrate the enormous contributions made by people from around the Commonwealth. The national church calls us to hold fast to this and take the opportunity to go further; by holding a 2 min silence at 11 am today to remember what the Windrush generation brought to us, in our time of need; but also, to recognise and lament the suffering that they encountered, and indeed many people still do around the world, because of the wider issues of racism.
These are all opportunities for us – to be aware of our past, and to use that to give us direction for a better today and a more equitable, fair, just and loving tomorrow. It will require action from governments around the world to do something different now – but we too, individually and collectively, need to do something different, something positive, to show what we’re all capable of in this new world we are emerging into right now.
May we, as Christians, give thanks for each and every new day, and grab fully the opportunities before us, to be Christians in the wider world. May we together pray for strength and wisdom to make the change and do things differently to the past, as part of a God-given and loving future….in Jesus’ name.
With my love and prayers for you all, as always….
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