Thought for the Day, 21 March 2020
From our Associate Priest, Rev Lucy Ireland
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?
Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
and crowned them with glory and honour.
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under their feet. Psalm 8:3-6 (NRSV)
Recently, I read that President Theodore Roosevelt used to take his guests outside
to see the stars after grand diplomatic dinners. He would gaze up and remind them
how vast the distances were in space. Then he would end, "Do we feel small enough now?"
I think he knew that when people are discussing and making the big decisions that affect
everyone in a country or even the world, they also need a sense of humility to help them
use that power responsibly. We need to pray for all in positions of power and responsibility
for decision making, they need God's help whether they know it or not.
You could use this prayer based on a prayer from The Sanctuary Centre:
Lord Jesus, we remember that you constantly found a third way
which pharisees, politicians and zealots weren't expecting.
You were surprising, creative, ingenious and shrewd
as you lived out the most compassionate and effective leadership the world has ever seen. Lord Jesus in your mercy,
we ask you to send your Spirit of wisdom
into the corridors of power and the hearts of the powerful.
May it move our leaders into a new humility and compassion
that truly seeks to serve the people of this nation and this world.
Lord in your mercy, guide them.
Lord in your mercy, give wisdom, courage and insight.
Lord in your mercy lead them - whether they know you or not.
The verses from Psalm 8 also make me very aware of both the responsibility we have
been given by God and the wonder of His love for us. He (or maybe she?) has taken a
risk with us, allowed us freedom to choose how we live and act, given us guidelines
for living well together but also given us freewill. The combination of awe and
wonder at the universe we live in with the realisation of how small and insignificant
we are within that universe can help us find a very healthy sense of humility. Humility,
as I understand it, opens the door to joy because it gives a sense of freedom to learn and
grow knowing there is someone bigger than us to guide and to help us when we mess it up.
Assurance that there is someone bigger than us to help when things feel out of our control
helps to take away fear. As John's first epistle reminds us 'there is no fear in love but
perfect love casts out fear' (1 John 4. 18). My love for God may not be perfect but his love for us IS.
Glasgow East End Team Ministry Office:
St Serf's, 1464 Shettleston Road
Glasgow, G32 9AL
tel: 0141 778 4392