Prayer for Liverpool
Some people are terrified of dogs or cats. Since I was about six years old, I have had a fear of birds. One night, not long after I went to bed, I became aware of something flying about the room, fluttering frantically by the window. When I went downstairs to get help, the family took a bit of convincing there was anything the matter, with my grandmother wondering if I was ‘acting the goat!’ They came upstairs to find that a large bird, a starling I think, had come down the chimney and was as desperate to get out as I was for it to leave. The bird was caught and released, but I have never since been able to be in close proximity to our feathered friends.
Since lockdown began, I noticed a strange mark on my bedroom window looking out towards the river. It took some time to realise what had happened. It shows the outline of a large bird, the impression of its wings and even its beak clearly visible. I’m so glad I was not in the room at the time, but clearly the bird had flown directly into the glass. I am even more thankful that it did not get in, or social distancing would have gone the way of all flesh, until the bird was on its way.
Next week we reach that period in the Church’s year as Eastertide moving towards its close, and another bird comes into view: the heavenly dove is one of the ways of describing the Holy Spirit. We are invited to join in ten days of prayer for the Spirit to renew the face of the earth, to bring new life to the Church, to bring comfort, strength and peace wherever those precious gifts are longed for at the present time.
May I share with you the words of a hymn written by John Bell and Graham Maule from the Iona Community:
She sits like a bird, brooding on the waters,
hovering on the chaos of the world’s first day;
she sighs and she sings, mothering creation,
waiting to give birth to all the Word will say.
She wings over earth, resting where she wishes,
lighting close at hand or soaring through the skies;
she nests in the womb, welcoming each wonder,
nourishing potential hidden to our eyes.
She dances in fire, startling her spectators,
waking tongues of ecstasy where dumbness reigned;
she weans and inspires all whose hearts are open,
nor can she be captured, silenced or restrained.
For she is the Spirit, one with God in essence,
gifted by the Saviour in eternal love;
she is the key opening the scriptures,
enemy of apathy and heavenly dove.
As we pray for the coming of the Spirit, we may take comfort that the heavenly dove will never come crashing in unwelcome or uninvited. The Spirit is rather a will o’the wisp, unpredictable, full of surprise, never tamed nor captured nor the property of anyone, not even the Church!
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your people, and kindle in us the fire of your love. Amen
Enemy of Apathy Copyright 1988 Iona Community Glasgow G2 3DH
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