REFLECTION for SUNDAY 5 JULY 2020
Thanks be to God, that we have risen this day
TO THE RISING OF THIS LIFE ITSELF
The purpose of God between us and each purpose
THE HAND OF GOD BETWEEN US AND EACH HAND
The pain of Christ between us and each pain
THE LOVE OF CHRIST BETWEEN US AND EACH LOVE
May this time be good for us, in body, mind and spirit,
For we gather in the presence of God, who made us and loves us,
And who has promised to never leave us.
“You are before me, God, you are behind,
and over me you have spread your hand;
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too high to grasp, too great to understand.
If I should take my light into the dawn,
if I should dwell on ocean’s furthest shore,
Your mighty hand will rest upon me still,
and your right hand will guard me evermore." ( tune Highland Cathedral)
The words above come from part of Psalm 139 a Psalm beloved of many people, speaking as they do of God’s amazing knowledge of each one of us, and of how he is present with us everywhere we go, to bless and to heal.
In 2017 I walked to Finisterre, in Galacia, Spain. Known as the “end of the world” in medieval times.
I had seen photographs of the amazing ocean and rocky cliffs which surround the highest point of the walk and was looking forward to standing there looking out into the vastness of the of the sea.
However when I got up that morning the mist had fallen, and I could barely make out the road ahead.
The visibility did not improve and it was with a sense of disappointment that I began the last section of the walk.
As I got nearer to my destination I began to hear what sounded like bagpipes. I thought at first I was imagining it, but as you see from the photograph, there was in fact a piper playing.
A Galician piper.
I have to say that bagpipe music always stirs something deep inside me, and on that occasion it was no different.
What happened next though really blew me away, for the piper began to pay the tune (Slane) which we know as the tune to the hymn, Be Thou my Vision, which just happens to be one of my favourite hymns.
Be Thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart,
Nought be all else to me, save that Thy art
Thou my best thought in the day and the night,
Waking or sleeping, Thou presence my light
On that day my vision was diminished, I was unable to see all that far ahead, and had been very disappointed that what I had planned did not happen.
However, as I stood there that day with the words of the hymn ringing in my ears, I got a wee reminder to me of how God is before us and behind.
“If I should dwell on ocean’s furthest shore, Your mighty hand will rest upon me still”
These days when we are all trying to navigate our way through the regulations for the re-opening of our church buildings, it is difficult to see clearly. In fact it all seems quite foggy at the moment.
So, it’s going to be so important discern God’s vision for us, prayerfully seeking his guidance, for his ways are not our ways, and his timing is always perfect.
Had I been a few minutes later in arriving at Finisterre I would have missed the blessing prepared by Him ahead of time.
In the gift of this new day, the gift of the present moment, grant us your vision dear Lord.