Prayer for Liverpool
‘It’s the evenings which are the worst!’ Certainly that’s my reaction after four weeks of lockdown. During the day I find no difficulty in keeping busy and active, but the evenings are a different matter altogether. Generally I spend them watching something entertaining on the computer before having a commendably sensible early night.
One evening this week, I settled down to watch a fascinating documentary about the reconstruction of Notre Dame in Paris. It is exactly a year since the disastrous fire engulfed and nearly managed to destroy the building. The documentary focused on the painstaking work – now at a complete standstill – to secure the building and make it safe, and to undertake a great deal of research as they begin the long process of rebuilding and restoration.
The programme made it clear that while this task will certainly be thorough, no one can expect it to be quick. Notre Dame has 850 years of history, and even the charred beams and the stone debris, fallen to the ground in the fire, all have many secrets to unfold, and much to teach those who are working to restore. A tempting and easy response might be to send in the diggers and bulldozers and to cast the debris aside as so much rubbish. But this would actually prove as destructive, and possibly just as much as a catastrophe, as the fire itself. Political leaders at the time of the fire may have promised restoration within a particular time-frame. The reality is that the work must go on for as long as it takes, if ‘the splendour of this latter house will surpass the splendour of the former’ as the prophet Haggai puts it in the Old Testament. (Haggai 2. 9)
People all over the world are asking for an answer to just one question: ‘how long?’ They could be asking about the present lockdown, or social distancing, or the production of an effective vaccine to bring the pandemic to an end. They could be asking about the economic consequences across the world, not least for the poor and the powerless, both near and far.
The response to such life-changing questions, if we are honest, is that we cannot yet know, but we must be prepared to be patient and to wait in hope. At times of uncertainty in my own life, I have always found the words of the Psalms which in normal times we sing each day at Evensong, have been a great source of comfort. May I leave you with words from one such psalm today?
‘I waited patiently for the Lord: and he inclined unto me, and heard my calling. He brought me also out of the horrible pit, out of the mire and clay: and set my feet upon the rock, and ordered my goings.’ (Psalm 40. 1 – 2)
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