Sunday Service 28-June

The Rhythms of the Seasons 1 of 5

today’s reading

We are starting our five part series on The Rhythm of the Seasons this week.

As an introduction, we are looking at Ecclesiastes 3, and that famous poem about the times and seasons of life.

If you seeing this in an email, click this link to go the full page directly.

Click the picture below to hear and see the reading from Ecclesiastes 3 in the Voice translation which may well be very new to you.


something to ponder

Lockdown has been a confusing time. In fact, it has been hard to keep track of the days. And its been a time of such opposites — the kindness of strangers, the absence of loved ones, the return of community spirit and the irresponsibility of crowds. Some people’s experiences have been rich and others impoverished. It has not been a series of distinct opposites as we read in Ecclesiastes. It’s like everything has all come at once! Ecclesiastes promises that there is nothing new under the sun though, and we are not the first generation to feel like this. One bishop has written:

For this present time is filled with all things that are most contrary to each other — births and deaths, the growth of plants and their uprooting, cures and killings, the building up and the pulling down of houses, weeping and laughing, mourning and dancing.

St. Gregory Thaumaturgus (died 270 CE)

The bishop in question was writing in around the year 250. A little nearer to our own time, US politician Frederic René Coudert, Jr. told this story:

Some years ago, in 1936, I had to write to a very dear and honoured friend of mine, who has since died, Sir Austen Chamberlain, brother of the present Prime Minister, and I concluded my letter with a rather banal remark “that we were living in an interesting age”.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it. How many times have I used the phrase “these are strange days” in recent months?! Mr Coudert continues:

Evidently he read the whole letter, because by return mail he wrote to me and concluded as follows: “Many years ago I learned from one of our diplomats in China that one of the principal Chinese curses heaped upon an enemy is, ‘May you live in an interesting age.'”

“Surely”, he said, “no age has been more fraught with insecurity than our own present time.”

That was three years ago.

He was speaking in 1940. Most of most of our lives have been lived in the days since then!

Based on Psalm 150, Matt Redman’s worship song speaks about living through “every season of the soul”.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord

Praise You in the morning
Praise You in the evening
Praise You when I’m young
And when I’m old

Praise You when I’m laughing
Praise You when I’m grieving
Praise You every
Season of the soul

If we could see how much You’re worth,
Your power, Your might, Your endless love
Then surely we would Never cease to praise

The refrain at the very end points to a helpful idea. That worship is not just the gathering together for set church services with others. It’s a way of being, moment by moment:

I will worship, I will worship, I will worship You with every breath
I will worship, I will worship, I will worship You with every breath

In difficult or significant or challenging days, I can always my mother singing. When I was a little girl, there was a big weekend event planned and everything that could go wrong was going wrong. My memory of my mother though? As she problem solved, she just kept singing the whole weekend as song you may know. “This is the day, this is the day, that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made. We will rejoice, we will rejoice and be glad in it.” There is deep wisdom in this. A thankful heart is always in season.

worship & music


announcements

WORCESTER CATHEDRAL has re-opened from 11am to 3pm daily for prayer and reflection for individuals and people from the same household. Read more in the Cathedral’s Newsroom.

ST WULSTAN’S ON THE PHONE is updated by Sunday lunchtime and contains audio resources that anyone can access for free simply by ringing our landline number 01905 935021.

RETURNING-TO-CHURCH SURVEY If you are part of our church family or want to be, please do fill out and return the questionnaire that is coming your way through the letterbox or by email. You can click on the image below to see the survey. It is a simple single side of paper to fill out. The wardens and I are meeting next weekend to talk about how we go forward in the summer. If you don’t receive a copy please let me know ASAP.

prayers

Click on the image below to share in intercessions lead from an American Methodist colleague.


God our saviour,
look on this wounded world
in pity and in power;
hold us fast to your promises of peace
won for us by your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Click on the image below to see and hear the Lord’s Prayer from a school I worked with in a previous parish (used with permission).


family friendly resources



a bit of nostalgia

2 comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.