Wednesday 20th May
I have spent the last couple of days talking in different ways about well being. It is easy to dismiss the term ‘well being’ as simply being the next fad or band wagon to follow. Mindfulness is another buzz word that is doing the rounds and if we are not careful they trip off the tongue but are actually quite meaningless because we only pay lip service to the underlying good they represent. As Christians we are faced with a similar challenge when it comes to our faith. It is all too easy to go through the motions but in our hearts not actually let our faith impact on our lives. Please don’t read that as me being judgmental because if I am honest there are times when my faith only feels skin deep. Life has a habit of ganging up on all of us from time to time and God can feel very far away.
The writers of the New Testament, particularly Paul continually challenged the churches they wrote to, to live lives that reflected their faith. I find Paul extremely challenging on those occasions when my faith has a wobble not least because he has a habit of fully understanding the human condition and putting his finger right on the nub of the problem! However he also recognised in his own life the struggles we all face, with what he refers to as his thorn in his flesh. He knew that in those moments when his faith was weakest that God stepped in:
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
When we feel most broken and a long way from God it is those moments when God’s grace breaks into our lives to bring his healing and wholeness. One way we can maintain our spiritual health is cultivate spiritual mindfulness through prayer and ensure our well being by looking after our physical health as well as our spiritual health.
As we pray today, pray for those who struggle with spiritual well-being and find it hard to connect with God during this crisis or when life gangs up to on us and we feel distant from our faith. Pray also today for our clergy, ministers and those who lead our churches that they might care for themselves as well as those they have care over.
God of Liberation,
who comes not to destroy
but to set us free,
bring wholeness to all that is broken,
and speak truth to us
in our confusion;
through Jesus Christ
our Saviour and Lord.