Rev Anthony (Tony) Grainger
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May 13, 2020  

New every morning is the love
Our wakening and uprising prove;
Through sleep and darkness safely brought,
Restored to life and power and thought                       (Hymn #3, Blue Hymnal, Rev John Kebl,1822)  

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,  

It sometimes seems to me reminiscent of writing an epistle to Calgarians (or a Church in Calgary) when I start thinking about the next pastoral letter. We are separated, isolated and under duress; not by any imperial, manmade empire, but a significant malignancy that casts it shadow over life as we once knew it.

So, how do you start each day? Some say ‘Good Morning, Lord’. Others have been known to say, ‘Good Lord, its morning.’ (And still others have been known to just groan.) What is your first thought and priority?  

C.S Lewis put it like this (in Mere Christianity – a good re-read): “It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.”  

Of course everyday there are priorities and necessities, and for some, insistent dependants demanding attention. However, it is to be encouraged to push back, to resist the daily toil, the common task for just a few moments and let that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in; to come out of the wind. To acknowledge the Lord of your life who is with you; who never left while you rested (perhaps even slept in these restless times.) To embrace His peace before this new day envelops you.  

And then as the day proceeds, to find time? To make a time, to be still and invite the Lord’s presence once again. Some find it easier than others to do this. Sometimes it’s helpful to have a prompt; a particular ‘place’ in your home; perhaps a particular picture or photograph; a song; a symbol of Creation such as a flower, a leaf, maybe a pet snoozing at your feet. ‘This is my Father’s world’ and in the Celtic tradition we may look through all and anything of His making to know and be reminded of His presence. (‘To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower’ - William Blake)  

We all have a bible (or two) and it is good to read at any time. However, I find that a daily devotional can catch my imagination and be helpful to get my thoughts closer to God. I am frequently amazed at the coincidences that arise in reading someone else ‘word for the day’. Often written weeks ahead by prayerful Christians from all walks of life, they bring a focus or a shaft of light on the day and the Word of God. And how often ‘just right’ for where I am (or want to be!)  

Little daily gems often remind us of what our God can do, has done, still does and would do in a person’s, even our own, life. They can remind us the scope of God’s care and interaction in people’s life – that can carry over or be passed down through the years.  

There are some really wonderful daily devotionals available, in print and online. And I know many of you use them. This year we have added a subscription to printed copies of Our Daily Bread, including the Large Print edition. We can mail or deliver you a copy if you let us know.  

Whatever and however you choose to invoke God’s presence and spend time with Him, be sure to ask him for his ‘take’ on the day ahead (or past). May you be surprised, and always blessed by such moments with our Lord Jesus.

Tony  

“We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with him. He walks everywhere incognito.”                              C.S Lewis, “Letters to Malcolm”

“Dad”, said the little boy, “you know Mom has no idea about to bring up children.”                                 “Whatever makes you say that?” replied his father. “Well, she sends me to bed when I’m not sleepy and tells me to get up when I’m still tired.”  

I told my son to go to the end of the line but he came back and said, “Dad, there’s someone there already.”