Mid Week Prayer and Reflection – The Brick, the Bricklayer and Song
One of our grandsons is learning to lay bricks, carefully mixing mortar and laying one brick on top of another. He has built an Argentinian style BBQ and during the lockdown has found other small projects to keep him occupied. It has been creative and fulfilling to see.
Michel Quoist wrote:
The bricklayer laid a brick on a bed of cement,
Then with a precise stroke of his trowel, spread another layer,
And without a by-your-leave, laid on another brick,
The foundations grew visibly,
The building rose, tall and strong to shelter people,
In photographs above we see two churches, one built in the 20th century, the other completed in the 21st century, both are of brick-built construction but each is different in style and size. The churches are some 430 miles / 700 km apart, in different countries and with different cultures but they share a common purpose, to create a safe and secure venue where a community can come together to worship God and share their faith stories.
We also see members of the European Cathedral Singers after they had sung Choral Evensong at All Saints, Elton, Bury.
The Church is the Body of Christ but it needs to meet in a building, a church to build fellowship and grow. ‘The building rose, tall and strong to shelter people’, but over the last few months their doors were shut and locked, no space for worship, fellowship and the warmth of friendship.
Michel Quoist continues:
I thought, dear Lord, of that brick buried in the darkness at the base of the building.
No-one sees it, but it accomplishes its task and the other bricks need it.
Lord, what difference does it make whether I am on the roof-top or in the foundation of your building.
As long as I stand faithfully at the right place.
Lord, I want to stand in the right place.
Lord, help us to see the building as more than a place that keeps us warm and dry.
It is a place than enfolds us in fellowship.
It’s a place where we can reach out and touch the sacred.
It’s a place where we hold out our hands and receive the bread broken us and remember all that you did for us.
It’s a place where our voices ring out with the joyful sound of praise, even if Lord, they are not always tuneful.
Lord, thank you for all those whose ministry is musical whether in the playing instruments or in song.
Lord, our churches were not built to be silenced but to ring out with joyful praise and adoration, to join in the sharing of the sacraments and to learn to love and share your good news.
But we are conscious, Lord, the right place is not the same for all people. Some for whatever reason cannot attend church, some are unable to stand but you create and honour their right place, help us also to recognise and honour their right place. Amen.
Grant to your people, good Lord,
the spirit of unity,
that they may dwell together in your love,
and so bear to the world
the ointment of your healing and the
dew of your blessing;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the infinite peace to you.
Click the YouTube link to hear this blessing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eve2y-P-Zjk – John Rutter – Gaelic Blessing
Fr Derek Akker