The New Room has been sharing a Friday reflection each week. We hope that these short reflections act as a point of spiritual focus, enabling a moment of quiet thought and prayer.
Chris Seward is a local preacher in the Bristol and South Gloucestershire circuit and and Volunteer at the New Room. She has been Bristol District President of Methodist Women in Britain.
For a number of years I have said I would challenge myself and read all the 150 Psalms. After numerous attempts I would start and get so far, then give up. Back in October I joined a group led by the Rev Richard Sharples. The title was “Praying the Psalms with Jesus” Taking Richard’s advice I disciplined myself and managed to read all 150.
At one of the zoomed sessions we were asked which one meant most to us, mine was 121. Back in 2002 I had a life threatening illness causing me to have depression. At that time my faith wavered. One day I opened the bible at the page of Psalm 121. Desperate for help, reading the first two verses made me think. I was looking out of the bedroom window where over the rooftops the Dundry Hills were visible. This assured me that the God of love was with me. Every morning since then I have looked towards those hills and there are many times when they are not visible as clouds may shroud them or there is a fog or mist.
When John was in the BRI heart institute I looked across to Dundry Hills each morning and read the Psalm. I couldn’t visit John but just as I couldn’t see the hills I knew that the best of all God was, and is, with us”.
Our family love music of all kinds and “The hills are alive with the sound of music” and ”climb every mountain, ford every stream” are two of my favourites from the Sound of Music. Through my life I have climbed hills and forded streams like many others. The hills have been alive with joyous music and sad music just as God is with us in good and bad times..
There are anthems and hymns and songs based on Psalms. I lift my eyes to the quiet hills, Mission Praise 281, is one I often turn to. The God who is love will continue to be with us through the pandemic and although we cannot see him his loving help will be with us in spiritual and practical ways.
Creator God, enable us to look towards the hills for your help in taking care of the world you created. Son of God, encourage us to look to the hills for your help to live our lives the way you lived. Spirit of God, equip us to look to the hills for your help to share your love in the ways given to us. Creator God, Son of God, Spirit of God, be with all people of all ages and in all circumstances as we continue to live through the pandemic. May your will be done. Amen