15 March 2021
Praying in Lent and Easter 2021:
27, Lichfield Cathedral
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).
This week I am offering photographs from seven churches that have shaped and influenced my spirituality.
My photographs this morning (15 March 2021) are from Lichfield Cathedral. When I first walked into the chapel of Saint John’s Hospital, Lichfield, as a teenager fifty years ago, late on a summer afternoon in 1971, 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 that evening, where one of the residentiary canons asked whether I started coming to church because I was thinking of ordination.
Little did I realise that evening how my life was being changed, and that I would be ordained priest 30 years later. Alongside the chapel of Saint John’s Hospital, Lichfield Cathedral remains my spiritual home.
John 4: 43-54 (NRSVA):
43 When the two days were over, he went from that place to Galilee 44 (for Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honour in the prophet’s own country). 45 When he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the festival; for they too had gone to the festival.
46 Then he came again to Cana in Galilee where he had changed the water into wine. Now there was a royal official whose son lay ill in Capernaum. 47 When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48Then Jesus said to him, ‘Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.’ 49 The official said to him, ‘Sir, come down before my little boy dies.’ 50 Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your son will live.’ The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way. 51 As he was going down, his slaves met him and told him that his child was alive. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to recover, and they said to him, ‘Yesterday at one in the afternoon the fever left him.’ 53 The father realized that this was the hour when Jesus had said to him, ‘Your son will live.’ So he himself believed, along with his whole household. 54 Now this was the second sign that Jesus did after coming from Judea to Galilee.
Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary:
The Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (15 March 2021), prays:
Let us give thanks for the work that the Dioceses of Lebombo, Niassa and Nampula are doing to address the climate and ecological crisis in Mozambique.
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