Sunday, 14 March 2021

Praying in Lent and Easter 2021:
26, Saint John’s Hospital, Lichfield

The Chapel of Saint John’s Hospital, and the Tudor East Façade of Saint John’s Hospital facing onto Saint John Street (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

During Lent and Easter this year, I am taking some time each morning to reflect in these ways:

1, a photograph of a church or place of worship that has been significant in my spiritual life;

2, the day’s Gospel reading;

3, a prayer from the prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel).

Today is the Fourth Sunday in Lent (14 March 2021) and ‘Mothering Sunday,’ and is also known as Laetare Sunday. This week I am offering photographs from seven churches that have shaped and influenced my spirituality, that have been ‘mother churches’ to me in nurturing my faith life.

My photographs this morning (14 March 2021) are from the chapel in Saint John’s Hospital, Lichfield. I first walked into this chapel as a teenager 50 years ago, on late one afternoon in the summer of 1971. There I felt filled with the light and the love of God; not knowing how to respond, I went on to Choral Evensong in Lichfield Cathedral. Little did I realised that evening how my life was being changed. For 50 years, I have retained a deep spiritual affection for this chapel. Alongside Lichfield Cathedral, it remains my ‘spiritual home,’ so to say, and I visit both every time I return to Lichfield.

Inside the Chapel of Saint John’s Hospital (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

John 3: 14-21 (NRSVA):

[Jesus said to Nicodemus:]

14 ‘Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

16 ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

17 ‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgement, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20 For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21 But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.’

Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary:

The Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (14 March 2021), the Fourth Sunday in Lent, prays:

Loving and merciful God, you have made us in your image,
and each of us is precious in your sight.
Help us to see your face in everyone we meet,
and to work for inclusion and the empowerment of all.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

Entering Saint John’s Hospital from Saint John Street (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

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