‘When we are up, we are up. When we are down, we are down. When we are only half-way up, we are neither up nor down.’
It’s about the Grand Old Duke of York’s men, but it could be about our mental wellbeing.
For lots of us, life is a series of ups and downs. And presently quite a lot of us are feeling down. It’s not surprising, given our circumstances, but it is concerning. We want to keep going and keep praying. Where can we look for help?
The Prayerbook of the Church of England used to have these words in the Litany: “ From plague, pestilence and famine; from battle and murder, and from sudden death, Good Lord, deliver us.”
The recent revisions of the Prayerbook resulted in the litany being altered to this: “From famine and disaster, from violence, murder and dying unprepared, Good Lord, deliver us.”
Spot the difference? Why the changes, I wonder? Why, in particular, did we remove the mention of plague and pestilence in our set prayers? After all, that is the prayer I want to pray over and over at this present time: From plague and pestilence, Good Lord, deliver us.
Yes, I admit the words sound a little archaic. Plague and pestilence sound like they belong in the Middle Ages. But that is perhaps part of our present problem. Maybe we have been in some sort of privileged denial of the continuing threat of plague and pestilence…….?
Dear friends, last month we had an unusual exercise in democracy at St Luke’s. Regular worshippers were encouraged to vote for which book of the Bible they would like to hear about during the sermons of February and March. Normally St Luke’s has Bible readings chosen for us by the Lectionary……
It is 2020 and although my eyes are not good enough to claim 2020 vision for myself, this is the year to reset our vision at St Luke’s. 2020 is the time to pray and plan for the next five or ten years.
There is a desire amongst many of the people of Holmes Chapel Parish Church to see good growth and development, while at the same time building on our traditional strengths.