Give thanks…

Todays meditation comes from Rev Dr Barbara Chandler. Barbara is a member of the ministry team at St James and St Anne’s who works as a consultant at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness.

Christ in the house of Marth and Mary by Johannes Vermeer 1654
Scottish National Gallery

The gospel set for Sunday 29th March is John 11:1-45. It is the familiar account of Jesus’ friends Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus. We are familiar with the caricature of the two sisters one always busy, busy, busy; the other reflective, dreaming, pondering.
As we enter the second week of lockdown I know that many are struggling, some because they are too busy and some because they are at home with none of the usual daily activities. I wonder if within each of us there is a Martha and a Mary side to our character? Sometimes one should take precedence over the other and sometimes we get it right and sometimes we get it wrong.
When Jesus visited the sisters as described in Luke chapter 10, Martha kept on with the household tasks rather than sitting for a moment and listening, accepting the invitation to cross the social taboo and as a woman to sit and be taught. I do wonder at other times, when Mary was sitting reflecting, a better form of worship would have been cooking or doing the dishes!
It’s not easy, but I just wonder if we can give thanks for the particular place we find ourselves in just now – if you have more time than you know what to do with, use some of it for prayer. If you have no time because you’re now home schooling, working in one of the many essential jobs and coping with staff sickness, then know that the work of your hands can be prayer and worship, and know also that others are holding you in prayer.

It’s not easy but let’s try and hang on to St Paul’s words

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

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