Prayer for Liverpool
I’ve been so blessed by God within my professional life; the absolute privilege of working for my patients in the NHS, the numerous places around the world my research and development has taken me usually in the form of meetings and conferences. Very blessed indeed! One such recent place was Algiers – just over four years ago during my present job as a lecturer. I was invited, as an expert lecturer for the IAEA, to give a week-long training course for Medical Physicists from different parts of Africa. I’ll never forget the wonderful friendliness of the delegates, all incredibly keen to learn about these particular aspects of radiotherapy which were new to them, but work I had led in certain ways in the UK many years earlier. English was the language of the course (thankfully!), but it was great to hear them during the practical group work; all scientists working together often translating from one language to another. A completely different culture and faith, the hosts couldn’t do enough for me and the other guest lecturer, who was from South Africa….they made us so welcome, made room for us with whatever we needed to teach the course and to feel at home; even making sure, knowing I was also a priest, that the main church in Algiers (Notre Dame d’Afrique) featured highly on our short tour of the city on our last day. A beautiful building built high on a cliff overlooking the city, from where this photo was taken.
Yesterday’s gospel from St John (14:1-14), speaks of trying not to worry or be troubled – to trust in God and in Jesus. A passage often used in anxious times, Jesus teaches that there are many rooms in God’s house, with Jesus being the way, the truth and the life….our brother who will go and prepare a place for us. For me, it emphasises that each of us, whoever we are, has our own unique place in God’s house – all are welcomed. We each have our own room there; made in the image of God but every one of us called to be ourselves…distinctive, spare and strange (to use a beautiful phrase of Rowan Williams from one of his published sermons many years ago).
And if God has a special place, a special room for each of us – how much more must we, as sisters and brothers in Christ, make room for others in our hearts, lives and prayers…..exactly as those lovely people on that trip did for me? Those who’d never met me before; had only perhaps seen my name in a book. People from a completely different faith, language, culture and society – yet were willing to welcome the stranger. Perhaps one thing we might do, whilst we are still in this strange lockdown world, confined in certain ways to our own rooms, is to reflect on how we do that for others. How can we do that now through our prayers and connections through different media – and how will we make room for others in our lives when the lockdown is over, as it indeed will be. For if we all make room for others, then others make room for ourselves, in their lives and hearts.
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