Weekly letter from St Luke's - 5 August 2020
Dear Parish Friends
As I write this evening, June and I have just finished hosting the second of the ‘Superstar’ study group sessions. The theme was ‘miracles’ which followed nicely on from what we were thinking about last Sunday, with the gospel passage of the feeding of the 5000. The gospel writers, especially John, saw miracles as signs that pointed towards God. This is the key point; a miracle is where God acts in the world. Whether what happens can be explained either at the time, or in hindsight, is not really relevant. With the eye of faith we can see God at work.
But then, is the corollary true? If we don’t see God at work, is God not there? Bishop David Wilbourne, who wrote the ‘Superstar’ study booklet quotes from ‘Folktale’ by the poet RS Thomas. Thomas pictures prayer as a knight on a quest to rescue a princess imprisoned high in a tower, hesitant because he’s not sure whether she’s even up there at all. The poem continues:
‘I would have refrained long since,’ the knight admits, ‘but that peering once through my locked fingers I thought I detected the movement of a curtain.’
Sometimes we see such signs of God, as such ‘movements behind a curtain’; maybe a word of scripture, which seems to leap out, a beautiful sunset or a chance encounter. At other times, the curtain seems to be stationary. But even in these times we are reminded that the spirit of God is still at work, and that gives us the courage to persevere.
Thursday 6th August is the festival of the Transfiguration of our Lord. This has a similar message. Jesus takes Peter James and John up a mountain where they have a glimpse of the glory of God. This then sustains the disciples through the dark days that were to come.
So I encourage you, in these seemingly dark days, with the ever present news of the Coronavirus, explosions and other disasters, to look for glimpses of God, to see miracles in everyday life, and be assured of God’s presence.
And pray too for a miracle, as we do every time we meet together:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen
With blessings for the week ahead.
Yours in Christ