26 March 2020

Praying through Lent with
USPG (30): 26 March 2020

The Kindertransport monument at Liverpool Street Station … a reminder in the heart of London of the Holocaust (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

I was supposed to be visiting the Church of the Province of Myanmar, the Anglican Church in Myanmar (Burma) this week on behalf of the Anglican mission agency USPG(United Society Partners in the Gospel).

The outbreak of Covid-19 or the Cornona virus pandemic meant that visit has been cancelled, and instead I had planned to visit Lichfield for three days (26-29 March) for a self-directed retreat, staying at the Hedgehog and following the daily services in Lichfield Cathedral or the Chapel of Saint John’s Hospital, which have been my spiritual home for almost half a century and have shaped my expressions of Anglican spirituality. However, this too has been cancelled, and I have remained in Askeaton.

During Lent this year, I am using the USPG Prayer Diary, Pray with the World Church, for my morning prayers and reflections. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and the end of the Holocaust, so I am illustrating my reflections each morning with images that emphasise this theme.

I am a trustee of USPG, the Anglican mission agency that partners churches and communities worldwide in God’s mission to enliven faith, strengthen relationships, unlock potential, and champion justice. It was founded in 1701.

This week (22-28 March 2020), the USPG Prayer Diary is focussing on Pakistan, human rights, slavery and the churches in Myanmar and Morocco, with a particular focus on Myanmar today and tomorrow.

These themes were introduced in the Prayer Diary on Sunday by Bishop Humphrey Sarfaraz Peters, Bishop of Peshawar Diocese and President Bishop, Church of Pakistan.

Thursday 26 March 2020:

Join with the Church in Myanmar in giving thanks for its 50 years of autonomy.

Readings: Exodus 32: 7-14; Psalm 106: 19-23; John 5: 31-47.

The Collect of the Day:

Lord God
whose blessed Son our Saviour
gave his back to the smiters
and did not hide his face from shame:
Give us grace to endure the sufferings of this present time
with sure confidence in the glory that shall be revealed;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Lenten Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God,
you hate nothing that you have made
and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:
Create and make in us new and contrite hearts
that we, worthily lamenting our sins
and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may receive from you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Cathedral Close seen from the west end of Lichfield Cathedral … part of my planned self-guided retreat for three days (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Continued tomorrow

Yesterday’s reflection

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