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Sunday 17 Jan 2021

Reflection for Sunday 17th Jan 2021

Good morning friends,

On Friday evening as I settled down to sleep I do as I always do, I reflected on the day just passing. To remember all that had gone wee and give thanks for that, and to reflect on things that had not gone so well, and to pay attention to my feelings around these things, to leave these feelings with the Lord, and then, having done that to look ahead to the next day and to ask for the guidance of the Lord to step into it in faith.

This practice is known as Examen, first brought to the attention of the pupils of Ignatius Loyola.

I got off to sleep, but woke around 2am with thoughts of my youngest daughter who has covid 19. As often happens in the wee small hours, I began to worry a bit about her and how she would manage to look after herself and her three boys. I couldn’t get back to sleep and lay for the next couple of hours thinking and praying.

Around 4am gales got up outside and I could hear heavy rain battering off the window...........a stormy night within and without.

I asked the Lord to come and settle me, and as often happens, the words and music of a hymn started to came into my mind.

“Green pastures are before me, which yet I have not seen. Bright skies will soon be over me, where darkest clouds have been. My hope I cannot measure, my path to life is free. My Saviour has my treasure, and He will walk with me.”

Almost at once I felt a peace descending.............but I could not think what hymn these words were from. After a while I got up and searched the hymn book.......and there it was.................

“In heavenly love abiding, no change my heart shall fear. And safe in such confiding, for nothing changes here. The storm may roar without me, my heart may low be laid, But God is round about me, and can I be dismayed? Wherever He may guide me, no want shall turn me back. My Shepherd is beside me, and nothing can I lack. His wisdom ever waking, His sight is never dim. He knows the way He’s taking, and I will walk with Him” (Anna Laetitia Waring)

I realised the hymn had echoes to Psalm 23 one of the passages of scripture that has brought comfort and hope to many people over the years.

For those who read my last post, you will know on that day I was reflecting on the power of the words contained in the book of Psalms to encourage us on our walk of faith.

I sang the hymn through a couple of times and the next thing I knew I was walking up with the alarm at 7.30 feeling peaceful and ready for the day ahead.

I gave thanks to the Lord for seeing me through the hours of darkness, praising him, as the Psalmist does frequently, for his goodness and mercy.

These are difficult days I know for many people, but reassuring to also know that we are not alone. The Good Shepherd has us in his care.

Jesus is Lord, and he has promised to be with us, even to the end.

I have this painting, a replica of one by the artist Thomas Kincaid.

Here the Shepherd welcomes his flock home at close of day.

I leave you with some verses from another old hymn which echoes Psalm 91

"Safe in the shadow of the Lord,

beneath his hand and power,

I trust in him,

I trust in him,

my fortress and my tower.

From fears and phantoms of the night,

from foes about my way,

I trust in him,

I trust in him,

by darkness as by day.

Strong in the everlasting Name,

and in my Father's care,

I trust in him,

I trust in him,

who hears and answers prayer." ( Timothy Dudley- Smith)

Be encouraged my friends,

Have a blessed Lord’s Day,

Love to you,



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