Prayer for Liverpool
The anticipation is almost tangible. As we cautiously move towards our first public service together, the signs of ‘new life’, as I reflected upon some weeks ago now, are now becoming cautiously and tentatively stronger and stronger. The doors of the cathedral, now open for private prayer, will be opened just that little bit wider in a few days’ time for our Eucharist together – and on Consecration Sunday too; what a special day. Lessons learned, opportunities gained from being ‘together’ in an online world during the lockdown, will continue in some form – so services will still be available online; our morning and evening prayer will have an online presence too; some of the ways of praying, communicating, ‘being together’ in the digital world will continue in some form – especially for the continued benefits of those who can’t make it to the cathedral, and those too for whom the risk is greater – who are still isolating until August, or who may be still (quite rightly) unsure of the risks to be taken. Whether we do step out into this new life right now, or not, there can be hope in our hearts that a new life with Christ is emerging, a new journey with our Lord Jesus.
Behind the scenes is a huge amount of work – from only a few staff. There’s a delicate balance as we bring back staff from furlough, as we balance costs against income; an income which was turned off like a tap as we went into lockdown and will take many months and years to be opened back up again. Their tireless efforts, as they usually are, working so hard in the background to bring us a full cathedral life, are still there – people lovingly dedicated to the cathedral and our faith. We feel the joy in their hearts as they return…. as we are reminded of the joys of people seeing Jesus come into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday; the subject of today’s New Testament lesson for morning prayer (Luke 19:28-40). In our hearts we shout for joy, albeit cautiously; we give praise to God. And we thank all working to welcome people back to the cathedral, we pray for God’s blessing upon them, we pray for God to sustain and support them – spiritually and materially too in these emerging hard economic times. Indeed, still we should pray…..
But it was for another reason that this phrase came to mind for me for this reflection – instead, it was from a stark news story during the week, of the plight of those in South America – for whom the peak of the pandemic is still only emerging. Although we feel in our own country, quite correctly, the pain and grief of losing loved ones, or the difficulties for those still in the care of our wonderful, world class NHS….in many parts of the world, the situation is much much worse. The report told of family members stricken by COVID-19 at home, of ambulances called but which never arrived – because the healthcare system has collapsed under the strain; of loved ones dying before the very eyes of the family, with no help, no health care. Of the mass graves viewed by loved ones at a distance, with no words of comfort; those cremated hour-upon-hour in simple cardboard coffins, because no funeral is possible.
The need to pray is still ever present – even more so as our faith in Jesus Christ asks of us to think of the other, to love our neighbour. So still, we should pray….pray for them in the acuteness of their plight in which they see no light right now; pray for the tireless work of our healthcare professions to continue their research into cost-effective drugs that might help and vaccines which are so badly needed – but as Christians perhaps thinking of others first who don’t have the medicine and care systems we have and benefit from. Still, we should pray – in joy and sorrow – 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