Paul’s words to the early church in Corinth, written in the context of factions, infighting and suffering, are deeply grounding. Praise God, he says. Praise God, because when we are vulnerable, we are offered such love and comfort that we can go out to love and comfort others.
The details of the factions and infighting have changed, but 2000 years later, they remain, and Paul’s injunctions remain as powerful as ever.
For some people, a vocation will be realised through an experience of loss. The strange story of the crucified and wounded Jesus speaks a truth that we shall never fully understand – through our loss, we can bring healing. In dying to ourselves, others can find life.
Naomi Shihab Nye expresses something of this paradox in her beautiful poem, Kindness:
‘Before you know what kindness really is,
You must lose things.’
Prayer for the day
All praise to you,
God of grace,
who gives us the promise of eternal love.
May we have the courage to respond:
to live gracefully,
love generously, and
give as we have received,
so that we no longer live for ourselves,
but for Christ
who died for us;
and in entering
into the life of Christ,
may we give life abundant to the world.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Points for Prayer
We pray today for all who suffer loss:
practical loss: of homes and livelihoods, food and clean water
loss of opportunity: of education, of prospects, of future (globally girls are many times less likely to receive an education than boys)
loss of dreams: of vocation, of focus, of vision
loss of hope: of faith, of the sight of healing and transformation
May we stand in solidarity with all who experience loss, and offer our love and comfort.
The WATCH Prayer
Gracious, loving Lord,
we look forward with hope and joyful anticipation
to the time when
men and women
can serve you,
and all people,
equally in every task
within your Church.
Thank you that every position held
and task done
is valued by you
your mission on earth.
Thank you Lord
for hearing our prayer.