Your daily bible quotation
From the Vicar
They say (and by 'they', I mean the news media every year) that the third Monday in January is the most depressing day of the year. Isn't that a thought to fill your heart with joy! Just what you want to hear on a cold, grey day. (Personally, I think that any day on which Australia beat England at cricket, is automatically far worse). That cheeriness aside, this coming Monday is most definitely the beginning of this year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. There is a little bit about it in the Cross and Crown - and I include here a prayer written for the week, which you might like to use: Holy God, source of all light and life, in Christ You call us to be one; may we abide in You and in one another. Be with Your church in every place; rooted in You, may we grow in grace and bear fruit in Your name that all the world may know of Your great love, through our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
As we say our prayers this week, we are called both to pray that the Church may learn to recognise and live in that unity which She is given by God, and to give thanks that as we pray, we are surrounded by "so great a cloud of witnesses", on earth and in heaven. We are united with so many unseen millions in a family that spans across the past and the future. They bear us up when we are down, and enfold us in their love. The first English Prayer Book of 1549 included in the Eucharistic prayer this phrase: "we beseech Thee to accept our bounden duty and service, and command these our prayers and supplications, by the ministry of Thy holy angels, to be brought up into Thy holy Tabernacle, before the sight of Thy divine majesty", and I have always found it helpful and inspiring to think of the ways we are all bound together when we pray, humans, angels, all of God's creation, all united in His love, and united in Him. Wherever and whenever we worship this week, it will never be alone: part of the definition of worship is that it is always shared, and always making us new together.
The services this week are all as normal (as far as I know now!). The only difference from last week is that we can no longer have live singing, so the choir has recorded an anthem which we will play during our main Sunday service. And talking of recordings reminds me of some other very exciting news you may already know: All Saints Leighton Buzzard are providing the Sunday Worship on Radio 4 tomorrow morning. It isn't going to be a live service, for obvious reasons, but lots of different groups and people have helped put it all together with Mother Cate so do try and catch it: it will be broadcast at 8:10 am tomorrow, and will be available on line for a time thereafter.
Other than that, I will see some of you in Church, and others of you on line, and may God bless you all this week, as we pray together.