Our first readings set for the Feast of the Baptism of Christ on Sunday 10th January came from the opening chapter of the book of Genesis. Most striking, is God’s speaking creation into being:
‘and God said, let there be light, and there was light…’
The power of divine speech creates, and we the recipients of that creation; enjoy its beauty and diversity. The point I made in my sermon that morning, was that we needed to embrace this creation during lockdown to help with our mental and spiritual state. Certainly, for me, in all three lockdowns, I have benefitted greatly from my daily exercise – and nature has not let me down in its enveloping beauty. Even on a cold grey January walk, one is struck by just how lucky we are to live in the midst of such awesome beauty.
When the psalmist wrote psalm 121, I often wonder what sort of situation they found themselves in. They write:
‘I lift up my eyes to the hills – from where will my help come?’
Looking up is very familiar to us – the Downs create a natural envelope to our lives. When I struggle, quite often looking up at the downs ‘lifts my mood’. This is the very creation that God spoke into existence, and if we listen too, we will hear its voice as nature and the noises of the natural world echo back at us.
I had to stop on my way to morning prayer one morning, as a Dunnock erupted in song from the hedge along the path. Such a small creature proclaims life, and I had to stop and give thanks. Whatever it is for you, that will get you through this awful time, hopefully the natural world will play its part. Snowdrops soon – and then spring!
I pray that all of us get through this time. I pray that those who struggle will find love and support from the wider community. I pray that the role out of the vaccine will return us to normality. But in the meantime, I pray that the ‘Spoken Creation’ will offer us comfort and some respite from our struggles.
‘And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening
and there was morning, the first day.’
Rev Derek Welsman
If you would like to view any of the reflections or services
that Derek has recorded since March 2020 please click here.
To find a simple form of daily prayer click here (also available as a video)
Other prayer resources may be found on the Church of England website.