You are here24th March 2020

24th March 2020


By Ian Cardinal - Posted on 24 March 2020

Up to 1 week ago, we were sharing Morning and Evening Prayer in our two churches during the season of Lent. Of course, all that came to a grinding halt a week ago, with the request that all public worship services should cease. It has since been superceded by Last night’s Prime Ministerial broadcast, telling us in no uncertain terms, that we must “Stay at Home.” 

 

This means that our Churches are closed until further notice. Clergy are the only ones who can enter, and then, only on our own. I am deeply sorry that we cannot even allow folks in for private prayer from this point onwards

 

But the readings for Morning Prayer tell the story of the Exodus in the Old Testament. God’s people are being cruelly oppressed in Egypt – and they cry out. The story is that God hears them and sends them the most unlikely figure to lead them out of Egypt – Moses, the quisling who has been brought up in the Pharaoh’s palace

 

It seems highly appropriate to me that we are reading this story in Lent this year. Although we are not in slavery, it is now clear that the whole world is threatened by a sickness that we have never seen before. As yet, there is no cure or treatment, other than to alleviate symptoms. Despite internet gossip, drinking water and the like will not prevent you from catching the virus: and, as always, prevention is better than treatment or cure. We all need to be sane and sensible with our actions and movement.

 

But the story also reminds us that God hears our prayers. No, he won’t wave a magic wand – and his people of old had a long and arduous journey across the wilderness to their Promised Land! But they learned faith and trust in God along the way – and maybe that is our challenge too.

 

There are a variety of prayers and the like for the current situation. Some are for ourselves, some are for sufferers in these constrained times – and some are for the Health workers who will be our very much needed helpers on the way. But I urge you all to learn, or re-learn to pray in the current times. The Ministry Team and I will be trying to encourage you on the internet right now

 

God bless you all at this time. May we learn once again that God in Christ Jesus is the rock on which we stand

 

Ian Cardinal

 

Exodus 2.23-3.20

After a long time the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned under their slavery, and cried out. Out of the slavery their cry for help rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God looked upon the Israelites, and God took notice of them.

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, ‘I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.’ When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then he said, ‘Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ He said further, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

Then the Lord said, ‘I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.’ But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’ He said, ‘I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.’

But Moses said to God, ‘If I come to the Israelites and say to them, “The God of your ancestors has sent me to you”, and they ask me, “What is his name?” what shall I say to them?’ God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am.’ He said further, ‘Thus you shall say to the Israelites, “I am has sent me to you.” ’ God also said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the Israelites, “The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you”:

This is my name for ever,

and this my title for all generations.

Go and assemble the elders of Israel, and say to them, “The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying: I have given heed to you and to what has been done to you in Egypt. I declare that I will bring you up out of the misery of Egypt, to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.” They will listen to your voice; and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, “The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; let us now go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, so that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.” I know, however, that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand. So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders that I will perform in it; after that he will let you go.

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