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Discovering God's Kingdom – Growing the Church

Saturday 18 April

Being Isolated from other people for any length of time can have its good parts as well as the negative ones. There are occasions when we need to be alone so that we can deal with our own difficulties and problems. However, it cannot be too often or why else do we have all those sayings about …'a problem shared…'. Our normal human instinct is to be to seek out support and comfort from other friends or family.

Worship is usually something we do together. It is a triangular activity, involving us, friends and acquaintances and God. Scripture makes it clear we are, or should be, committed to each other. We are to love one another, not that that is going to be an easy thing to do!

In our time of prayer, we may well be on our own, it is clear that we still have our sisters and our brothers in our minds eye, as we welcome the new day and turn to the one who gives us life.

Dear Lord, we bring praise to you for this new day. We give thanks for the opportunities for service to others and to you. We give thanks for the gift of life itself.
On this new day, my prayer for me, is for the gift of your guidance and wisdom and strength so that I may do your will all the day long.
This we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

There are good reasons for times of isolation and separation from one another, but we have to remember that we have a deep instinct to turn to each other. We need each other to encourage and support one another. That relationship depends on the love we share. I came across this poem by a sixth century philosopher, Boethius.

In regular Harmony the world moves through its changes;
Seas in competition with each other
Are held in balance by eternal laws
Nor may land move out and extend its limits.
What binds all things to order, is love.
If love’s reins slackened All things held now by mutual love
At once would fall to warring with each other
Striving to wreck that engine of the world Which now they drive
In mutual trust with motion beautiful.
And loves joins peoples too
By sacred bond, and ties the knot of Holy Matrimony
That binds chaste lovers, joins too with its law All faithful comrades.
O happy race of men,
If the love that rules the stars may also rule your hearts!

Our prayers across the day should reflect our words and thoughts actions and attitudes. Thanksgiving remains at the heart of the deep mystery of prayer.

Into your hands I commit my spirit and with that all that I have done this day.
I remember with joy and thanksgiving all I have worked with and worked for, to day.
Thank you for your love so freely given, be with us through the darkness of this night,
Keeps us and all whom we love safe till morning comes. Amen