“I found in him a resting place and he has made me glad”
This is the weekend we come out of lockdown as a nation. We give hearty thanks to God that this stage of the pandemic is over. The move out of lockdown is going to be difficult as many continue to self-isolate, to shield and to wait. Today we also give particular thanks for the NHS – which came into being on 5 July 1948 – and for its front line workers.
The words of the hymn “I heard the voice of Jesus say” speak to us at this time of emergence out of lockdown, wearied from the experience of lockdown itself and perhaps wearied at the thought of how to go back to routines and livelihoods safely.
To where we are and to how we are, glad of this new day or fearing it, we come to God as we are, perhaps “weary and worn and sad”. In this time which we now share may our brother Jesus befriend us and take up his invitation: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens”.
Jesus invites us to trust in his law of love: not a burden that crushes us, but a yoke that is easy, filling the hearts of those who live this law of love with joy. Let us accept his commandment to love in our families, our workplace, in this village community.
This is the Collect for today with the wonderful Trinitarian phrase “You have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts whereby we call you Father”:
‘Almighty God, you have broken the tyranny of sin and have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts whereby we call you Father: give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service, that we and all your children may be brought to the glorious liberty of the children of God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen’
Thank you to Lesley for the band’s song choice “Peace perfect peace”. And to Gill for producing a new All Age format for reflecting on the key themes of our Gospel reading. This is a new venture so that our worship is accessible to all in our church family of whatever age, that there is “something for everyone”.
Next week we come out of lockdown as a nation. It is also the Sunday we would normally celebrate the work of the NHS so next week there will be a particular focus on giving thanks for the NHS and all who have enabled us all and as a nation to survive lockdown.
Jonathan’s sermon this morning is about waiting, a theme very appropriate at this time of coming out of lockdown when some will choose to continue to self-isolate and to shield others.
Our decision as a Church is not to re-open for private prayer for the time being, but we will keep you updated of any changes.
This week’s blessing is prefaced by a prayer by the Puritan Divine, Richard Baxter, appropriate for the theme of waiting: “Keep us, O Lord, while we tarry on this earth … in an affectionate walking with you …that when you come… we may be found waiting and longing for our Lord, our glorious God”.
All the best
For Our Younger People – Click on the Picture of “The Gang” to see a video about following Jesus
It is Refugee Week this week and Leeds observes this each year. If you follow the link to the Refugee Week website they suggest getting involved by “Simple Acts”. One thing we can do is watch a film, and two of the films on the website are part of our virtual service this morning.
Another simple act that we can do is that we can write messages of encouragement. Bramhope Methodist Church thought those who would normally come to Pizza Sunday this month might wish instead to write cards to the asylum seekers currently residing at the Mercure Parkway hotel. The hotel staff have said that if we collate these messages they will kindly put them on a display board there. If you would like to take part please send your message c/o St Giles Church Bramhope LS16 9BA. If delivering by hand please use the alcohol gel and disinfectant wipes provided by the postbox.
Following the government’s recent advice saying that Churches can re-open at their own discretion we made a decision earlier this week as a Church family not to open the Church at this stage for private prayer. We look forward to opening the Church when the risks presented are considerably lower but have unanimously decided as a PCC that now is too soon. We will review our decision and will keep you updated of any changes.