Who we are... - Reflection by Canon Mike
Read Canon Mike's reflection for Tuesday, 18 May, 2021.
For an audio version of this blog post, go to our prayer blog, Prayer for Liverpool: http://www.prayerforliverpool.org/blog/who-we-are-reflection-by-canon-mike.
Within the University we are once more in assessment period – the third one now in this strange environment. As I’ve mentioned before, I like to try to put my students’ minds at rest with encouraging emails just before their exams. It’s not the same now with deadlines for assignments, but the sentiment is still the same; encouraging them to do their best, stay calm and think through things; that if they feel they have done so, done their best, then I will be more than happy; and to remember that at the end of the day, their worth is far more than the mark they get – they will go on to show who they are by the way they serve our patients, their care and compassion, being wonderful and distinctive individuals.
For we are all just that, beautiful, wonderful, distinctive – made, as we know within our faith, in the image of God. Sometimes it is difficult to know who that person is, especially when just starting out in life. Especially so for those who live in circumstances where the social pressures are very different – we might say we have a choice, but the places where we live, the pressures of financial burdens, peer and family pressure may prove otherwise.
At evensong on Sunday, our scripture readings brought forward that most powerful revelation of who Jesus was, during his ministry in Galilee (Luke 4). Filled with the gift of the spirit, Jesus comes to teach in the synagogues and, in reading the great prophecy of Isaiah, shows the very fulfilment of that prophecy….”today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing”, he declares…showing that he indeed was the Messiah, the anointed one; the one to bring Good News to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives, recover the sight of the blind, let the oppressed go free.
For ourselves, sometimes the circumstances in which we live make it difficult to perhaps remember who we once were, think about who we are right now or what our journey will be like in the future. Like the individual in the photo above, though out alone within God’s wonderful creation, perhaps we still can’t quite see who we are, or the issues in our lives still make us feel lonely, isolated. As I have written before, I am keen for us as a community to become more aware of Dementia and other health conditions as we live out the gospel, in loving and caring for each other. Yesterday was the start of Dementia Awareness Week 2021 (#DAW2021), where the call for all is to become more aware of what it is and take action to improve the lives of those affected by it. I am a dementia friend myself, and I know a number of you are too – thank you for that. But more action is still needed, and my hope and prayer is that as we come out of this pandemic, we move further in making the Cathedral itself more dementia-friendly, and also bring other healthcare issues into our vision, in our love of neighbour.
For many healthcare issues do challenge us, challenge who we are. We will hear something of the personal account of such challenges in our 4th Gilbert Scott Science and Faith lecture tonight from Dr Claire Foster-Gilbert, Director of the Westminster Abbey Institute and expert writer and thinker on ethics and spiritualty in public life….who tonight shares with us something of her own personal journey challenged by cancer and how it became in some ways a source of joy.
The lectures are free and it is live tonight on our Liverpool Cathedral YouTube page at 7:30 - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsJ6VEpIiNKqScoNE5iUxIA.
As disciples of Christ, we are not immune from the struggles of life around us; but we are uniquely called to be alongside others in their struggles, their pain, their anxieties, their social conditions, their grief. John’s gospel on Sunday morning spoke of Jesus’ discourse with the Father; sending his disciples out into the world, just as the Father sent him; dedicating himself to God for their sake, entrusting them into the Father’s love and guidance through the gift of the Spirit, to work as he did and dedicate themselves to God. We are the same – then, now – as disciples. The gift of the spirit is within us, typifying who we are, helping and guiding us in being alongside others in their difficulties. We might not, at times, see the exact way we are meant to go, or who we are meant to be – but trusting in God’s love for us will still guide us on the best path to take, and the people that we journey onto being….in Jesus’ name.
As always, with my love and prayers; go gently…
Canon Mike 😊
While you're here:
Why not prepare for next Sunday's worship? Our preparation sheet for adults and for children can be accessed by clicking on the Resources tab of this website: https://www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html.