Dear Readers, I write this on the hottest day of the year, reflecting that this is weather for the beach and not for dog collars and work. Still, not long now until a week away in France and an opportunity to recharge the batteries after a full and eventful year. Though in terms of spiritual refreshment, I don’t know whether recharging the batteries is the right image to be thinking on. Batteries are items that we need to supply ourselves with in order to make things work – as we often discover to our irritation, when we unpack whatever we have bought and find we should have read the small print that tells us, “Batteries not included”.
Rechargeable batteries don’t work forever either. Sooner or later they loose their capacity for supplying energy. Our Christian faith on the other hand, however we have embraced it, whether through baptism or some other form of commitment, connects us straight to the mains, the source of Life! The love of God, shown to us supremely through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, embraces us in the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit, as she fills our lives with assurance and confidence in Christ.
The challenge is that our reception gets distorted through the static of life, stuff, our preoccupations, and the interference of our busyness! So from time to time, we need to retune and clean and sharpen up our contact points.
That I think is a more helpful picture, because it reminds us that the initiative always lies with God. All we are called to do is respond. Our responsibility lies in making ourselves as open and receptive as we can be to God’s gift of life. Spiritual writer, Ann Lewin, says that hymns like ‘Father hear the prayer we offer,’ put in front of us a spirituality which leaves us no time for resting in God to sharpen up our contact points. She has therefore rewritten the hymn, and I offer it here to you for reflection.
The Prayer We Offer
Not for ease? Why not?
What’s wrong with ease?
For most of us the
Problem is not self-indulgence,
But that we allow ourselves too little.
Prohibitions, counsels of perfection,
Drive us and load us up with guilt.
Time enough for courageous living
And all that rock-smiting.
Let’s rest and wander in green pastures
When we find them, make the space
To let ourselves be loved;
Build up our strength
And grow in confidence;
Drink living water springing in
Feed on the Bread of Life which satisfies.
Then we shall have provision
For the journey, and at last
Arrive, not too unpracticed
In the art of resting
In His presence.
God bless you Rev Julia x