Thoughts for the Day

Saturday, 12th March 2022: Ember Day 3

Church Ember Days Refuge God Worship Psalm 84

Reading : Verses from Psalm 84

St James Church

* St James' the Great, Manorbier

How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, indeed it faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy
to the living God...

Happy are those who live in your house,
ever singing your praise...
For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than live in the tents of wickedness.

(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


On this last Ember Day, a day of prayer and frugal eating, we turn our eyes to God and His church. Over my lifetime I have attended worship in literally hundreds of churches as I moved around the world or Britain and Ireland, sometimes visitng a church once and at othertimes staying for a few years. There have been tin tabernacles, glorious carhedrals, and services in community centres and ancient Norman churches. Worship has been Book of Common Prayer, Common Worship, family worship with young children, glorious praise services with people 'slain in the Spirit', and quiet times of prayer with just a few people on their knees. What mattered in the best services was our corporate worship as we came to offer God praise - we came to give, but in turn we received, from one another and from God.

During the pandemic church congregations seem to have been decimated, particularly in the west, and at present they don't show signs of changing. Being a Christian is about being in community, not in isolation, each one of us is a part of the body of Christ and we can only be that if we are worshipping together. Today I call all of us to pray for ur churches and all those christians who have left, and that tomorrow, on the Second Sunday in Lent they will return!


Lord Jesus Christ,
You called Your Church into being,
and despite persecution and pandemics
it has continued for two thousand years.
Today we ask Your blessing
on the worldwide Church,
and upon our local congregation.
May we help revive our community,
support one another,
and turn to You in joyful worship.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to listen to, or sing this hymn:

Or how about this lovely modern lyric song:

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