This is the second in a series of Friday reflections written by members of the New Room team. Even though we cannot currently join together for our usual Friday lunchtime Communion service in the chapel, we hope that these short reflections will act as a point of spiritual focus, enabling a moment of quiet thought and prayer.
This week’s reflection is written by New Room Chaplain, Rev David Weeks. David began volunteering at the New Room when he retired from full time ministry in 2000 and returned to Bristol with his wife Gill. His family links with the New Room go back a long way and he has found family names on the chapel’s membership list from 1757. David and Gill are currently ‘living in lockdown’.
“I invite you to read Psalm 131.
The writer of this psalm seems to have faced some sort of crisis that has made him realise he is not as high and mighty as he thought he was. Something has happened that has brought him to a halt and forced upon him a re-evaluation of his life.
Some things he reckons are just beyond his understanding and control. So he is discovering the peace that comes from letting go and trusting God, as a baby relaxes in its mother’s arms.
In our current crisis, serious for all and very difficult for some, not all is loss.
There are many hopeful signs. A government appeal for NHS volunteers that hoped for 250,000 in four days received over 400,000 in one day.
Our planet is getting healthier, fish can now be seen in the canals of Venice and last week the sun shone out of a blue sky over Beijing, the smog has cleared.
Neighbours are supporting each other and families getting closer.
Church communities are connecting in new ways. And for many of us there may be a new awareness of what it means to trust in God.
Yesterday Gill and I read Andrew Pratt’s hymn based on John Wesley’s last words, ‘Best of all is, God is with us’ (Singing the Faith 610).
Best of all, God is with us
God will hold and never fail
Keep that truth when storms are raging
God remains though faith is frail.
Gracious God, source of all life, whose love never fails, give to each an awareness of your presence.
Help us to care for each other and trust in your continuing purposes. Amen