Calm me, Lord
Calm me, Lord, as you calmed the storm;
Still me, Lord, keep me from harm,
Let all the tumult within me cease,
enfold me, Lord, in your peace.
Text: David Adam
What a maelstrom of events is present in the news this week. Torrential unseasonal rain in Indonesia has affected the Pacific gulfstream, which in turn has affected the gulfstream over North America causing drought in California, the polar freeze over large sections of the rest of the continent. This in turn has disrupted the Atlantic gulfstream so Ireland and the United Kingdom have been battered by hurricane strength winds, and the wettest winter in over 250 years resulting in extensive floods. And the end is not in sight… And this is not just occurring in the northern hemisphere… You have given us charge to live in harmony with all of your creation and with each other… Lord, teach us how to live in this way, but first of all teach us daily how to live in harmony with You.
Hear our cry and teach us, God.
Lord, we pray for all working to ease the havoc and destruction caused by the weather. We pray for wisdom in how we work together to prevent such catastrophes or at least for learning how to mitigate their effects. The ribbon of life binds us all together wherever we are in the world, and our actions have reactions and our choices have consequences. Open our eyes to the life force breathed into us by you at Creation, so we can live truly as members of one body.
Hear our cry and teach us, God.
We give thanks for the extended temporary ceasefire in Syria to rescue some people from Homs. We ask for forgiveness for the actions and inactions that have prevented bringing peace to this horrendous conflict. It brings to mind the horrors of Srebrenica in Bosnia, and the pattern is being repeated in Syria, Israel, the West Bank, Afghanistan, Iraq, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Sudan, and so many other countries.
Lord, have mercy, and bring peace to your suffering peoples…
We celebrate the good news and joy that is brought from the efforts of the athletes at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. We recall all those who have been displaced or suffered in any way for the Olympic facilities to be made ready. We give thanks that in the middle of such human mess, there are flashes of inspiration and truly generous, open-hearted support of each other by athletes of competing nations.
Lord, we praise you and give you thanks.
We give thanks too for the good news of communities, often themselves facing hardship, like the small church of Tron St. Mary’s, in Balornock, Glasgow, Scotland, who, faced with a large immigrant population and great deprivation, have sought and obtained funding to extend their work within the community, growing and sharing food, skills, and helping people settle and be welcomed as part of the community no matter their faith or country of origin.
Lord, bless them and all like them as they spread your light and love where they are.
As so many celebrate or feel pressured to celebrate St Valentine’s Day, we remember those who produce flowers for us in developing countries often in conditions which would not be allowed where we live. We pray for those for whom there is no one to make them feel special, or those who have lost that special someone… Lord, help us to share with each other, whether as a couple or as single people, the deep abiding love which can only truly be found in You and which even in the best human relationship is but a faint reflection of Your love for each one of us.
And so Lord,
“My whole being desires you … Your constant love is better than life itself, and so I will praise you … I will give you thanks as long as I live … My soul will feast and be satisfied.. all night long I think of you … I cling to you…”
-Selected from Psalm 63: 1 – 8