Second Wednesday of Advent - Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
Our God is an everlasting God,
the creator of the ends of the earth.
He gives strength to the enfeebled,
he gives vigour to the wearied...
Those who hope in Him will renew their strength,
they will soar as with eagle's wings.... Isaiah 40
These are portions of Scripture set in the Eucharistic Lectionary for use today. As far as I am concerned, they couldn't be more apt. A dear friend of mine won't be with us for much longer. He was diagnosed seven years ago, but in spite of taking a "dip" many times during this period, up he has come again with renewed vigour.
Last week he sent me an email to tell me he was in hospital. Attached to the email was a twenty-eight page document, Chapter Six of an academic paper he was preparing.
It took me ages to read it, simply because he has a brain that far exceeds mine in theological capacity. I read it twice, annotated it, then replied to him with my thoughts and questions. By return he reported that his tutor had made much the same comments about his paper. His reply made me feel that I wasn't quite as stupid as I thought!
It came as a surprise, therefore, to hear from the family last night that he was on his way out. We were, as it happens, near the hospital, so we went in to see him. He was comfortable, but drifting away. "Those who hope in Him will renew their strength,
they will soar as with eagle's wings..." that's him now, just beginning to soar with renewed strength towards that place where Christ will lift the burden of his illness and give him rest.
O God, we are gathered here
under the shelter of your wings,
nurtured by your motherly love,
and encouraged, then,
to fly by faith on the wind of your spirit.
You have spoken to us, saying
"They that wait upon the Lord,
shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings as eagles."
Teach us how to wait, to learn to fly,
and strengthen us with the assurance
that we do not fly alone.
Peter L. Haynes
“In quietness and in confidence
shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
There are times in life that we all get tired:
tired of trying to make a business grow,
tired of dealing with a sickness,
tired of raising a difficult child,
tired of being lonely,
waiting to meet the right person.
We can even be doing what we love,
living in the house of our dreams,
raising great children,
or working at a good job,
but if we’re not careful,
we can lose our passion
and allow weariness to set in.
God promises He will renew your strength.
As you thank God for fighting your battles,
you will be able to run and not get weary,
you’ll walk and not faint.
You’re not going to drag through life defeated,
depressed, drawn under by the circumstances.
You’re going to soar through life
on wings like eagles,
accomplishing God-given dreams.
With God, no situation is hopeless.
O Lord, you have indeed carried me on your wings.
You set me free to fly from bondage.
Once enslaved, but now I am free to be your servant. May I continue to be carried on your wings
as you guide and empower me
to serve you in every aspect of my life. From Jim Cotter, Psalms for a pilgrim people.
Psalm 23 for the workplace (Anon)
….. He gives me peace
when chaos is all around me. He gently reminds me to pray before I speak, and to do all things
without murmuring or complaining. He is my Source;
He restores my sanity
and guides my decisions,
that I might honour Him in everything I do.
Even though I face absurd amounts of emails,
system crashes, unrealistic deadlines, budget cutbacks, gossiping co-workers, discriminating supervisors, and a tired body that doesn't want to co-operate,
I will not stop, for He is with me! His presence, His peace, and His power will see me through. He raises me up,
even when they fail to notice my strengths.
His faithfulness and love are better than any bonus. When all’s said and done, I'll be working for Him a whole lot longer; and for that, Lord, I am thankful!
Prayer of Thomas Merton "Thoughts in Solitude"
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this
you will always lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore, I will trust you always.
Though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone