Thursday, 5 January 2012

What are you seeking?

Yesterday I went into school and led the Communion Service at the start of the teachers’ In Service Training Day;  it’s always a privilege to do this.  During our time together we had a short reflection on the Lectionary reading from John 1, the story of Andrew leaving behind his discipleship with John the Baptist and taking up with Jesus.  At one point in the passage Jesus asks Andrew that most penetrating of faith questions: What are you seeking?

That line of enquiry would be appropriate for a Career Advisor chatting to a young person but it’s also a relevant question for anyone reflecting on their personal pilgrimage.  What are we seeking?  What do we desire in our walk with Jesus Christ this New Year?

There is a much loved prayer by Bishop Richard of Chichester which goes a long way in answering that sort of question.  Richard was born in Worcestershire and was offered his family’s farm.  By accepting he would have become a man of means and influence.  Instead he decided to become a scholar and a priest, ending up as Bishop of Chichester in Sussex, he died in 1253.  It was wonderful that his prayer, from such a different age, should have been woven in so beautifully to the Godspell musical of the Glamour Rock seventies!

In its simplicity Bishop Richard’s prayer encapsulates the longing of any committed follower of Jesus Christ of whatever age or century.  It is, surely, a fitting answer to Jesus’ question: What are you seeking?

                                      Most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother,
                                             may we
know you more clearly,   
                                             
love you more dearly,
                                            and
follow you more nearly,
                                                         day by day.
                                                             Amen.

With best wishes,
Ian
ps I wonder if you might be reading this on our new Church Website?  We are so grateful to Stuart Way for all his help over the last three years or so with the old one – he gave of his time and talents generously.  Our hope now is that our new site will be helpful to all who come across it deliberately or by accident!

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