Mid Week Reflection and Prayers – our Heroes and Heroines
This week Rev Derek Akker continues the Saintly theme and invites us to consider our own personal Heroes and Heroines
For all the Saints to join in and hear the hymn click on the link below
1 For all the saints who from their labours rest,
who thee by faith before the world confessed,
thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
2 Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might;
thou, Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight;
thou, in the darkness drear, their one true light.
3 O may thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,
fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
and win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
4 O blest communion, fellowship divine,
we feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.
5 And when the fight is fierce, the warfare long,
steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
and hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
6 The golden evening brightens in the west;
soon, soon to faithful warrior cometh rest;
sweet is the calm of paradise the blest.
7 But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
the saints triumphant rise in bright array;
the King of glory passes on his way.
8 From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
For all the Saints is a hymn that gives me one of those ‘ee bah gum’ moments. The expression is in the Oxford dictionary as a Northern English explanation for expressing delight along with other emotions.
Over the last three weeks we have reflected on Benedict, Elizabeth Ferard and Ignatius.
I said early that for this time of reflection I would invite you to think of someone you have known and looking back has been a saint to you.
I wish to share with you two people who were my hero and heroine to me. They are Joy and Arthur. I first met them when I was about 6 years old when I was placed in a children’s home. Why I was there is a long story. Outside of school I along with a small group of children were cared for by Joy and Arthur. Joy and Arthur were a newly married couple and created a secure homely environment. Arthur was a good story teller, his bible story telling was something I looked forward to. Joy had an infectious laugh and was good at cuddles. I owed her a lot as one afternoon she prevented my abduction from the home by my birth father.
Joy and Arthur sowed the seeds of a loving a Christianity which they nurtured. The home closed after about a year and I moved on but Joy and Arthur kept in touch with my Mum and with her approval started to send me Scripture Union bible notes. I looked forward to receiving them every 3 months.
We kept in touch over the decades and the last time I saw Arthur he was in his 80’s, he died aged 84. Joy had died a few years earlier.
Joy and Arthur sowed seeds and gave me security as a bewildered 6-year-old and over the many years gently showed an interest in my growth and encouragement as I grew in faith. As St Paul puts it, they were ‘in Christ’.
I imagine we all have met people who have influenced, encouraged and supported us. We have met people who gently lived out their faith and in doing touched our lives, people who were ‘in Christ’.
As we begin our time of prayer and reflection find a comfortable place to sit, slowly breath in and out, trying to calm yourself and become relaxed.
Now picture your hero or heroine of faith. Perhaps it’s their smile, the sound of their voice, the words they said that bring back the memories. Or perhaps it was their actions.
Give thanks to God for their lives and as a celebration of all that was good in their character, sing again ‘For all the Saints’.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
Father, In the awareness of Your presence
Beneath the shadow of Your wings,
In the closeness of Your love, may we abide.
Jesus, In the fellowship of Your saints,
In the communion of Your faithful,
In the church called to mission, may we abide
Spirit, In the power of Your love,
In the fullness of Your gifts,
In the guidance of Your wisdom, may we abide. Amen
May God grant to the world justice, truth and peace