Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
Last Sunday's Epistle came from St Paul's letter to the young Corinthian church. (1 Cor 1:10-18). He is writing to a divided church, urging them to heal their differences and focus their faith and worship on Jesus, the Christ.
Sadly, even today within the Church there is division as indeed there is in the wider community. I was able to pick up on this point in the Intercessions I led. Here are a couple of prayers that I offered:
Lord Jesus Christ, Prince of peace, break down the barriers which separate us from each other and from God. Teach us to love one another across the walls of colour,class and creed; forgive us, too, the excuses we make for our own prejudices, and lead us in your cause of peace and goodwill on earth; for your name sake. Amen. (This prayer was written by Ian Bunting and is published in the SPCK Book of Christian Prayer)
The second prayer is my own and reads: Heavenly Father, within the next few days the UK will part from our friends and neighbours in Europe. This whole Brexit process has caused deep divisions, pain and suffering across the nation. Bless Elizabeth our Queen and give wisdom to all in authority under her, that they may lead us to a healing of those wounds with humility and forgivness. Let us workto gether with other nations, including the EU in true partnership for the promotion of peace and the good of mankind. Amen
The last words of the Gospel reading gives us hope for in it Matthew tells us that Jesus commenced his earthly mission by healing the sick and curing diseases (Matt 4:23)
In Chapter 10 of Matthew's Gospel Jesus instructs his disciples to continue his work after he has left them. As baptised members of the Church it is our task to Take up our cross and follow him. That means doing what we can, with the help of the holy Spirit to healthe divisions within our church and our community. Let us pray for God's help that we may do so..
I am an Authorised Local Preacher in an Anglo Catholic parish church, in the Diocese of Essex UK