Mid Week Reflection – Iona
You are the love
of each living creature O God
You are the warmth of the rising sun
You are the whiteness of the moon at night
You are the life of the growing earth
You are the strength of the waves of the sea.
Speak to me this night O God
Speak to me your truth.
Dwell with me this night O God
Dwell with me in love.
John Philip Newell
Donatella Tronca Creative Commons Wikimedia Commons
Iona is a tiny and beautiful island, barely 3 miles long, off the west coast of the Isle of Mull. Columba and his 12 monks landed on the island in 563AD and established a simple religious community. From Iona Columba and his followers set out to evangelise much of Scotland. It became the cradle of Christianity in Scotland. Over the centuries it became a centre of Celtic learning and an important centre for European Christianity.
The monastery on Iona was subject to a number of Viking attacks and during the third attack, in 806AD, the monks left the island. They were able to acquire a monastery at Kells in eastern Ireland and settle there.
From archaeological digs evidence has been found of glass making, metal work, leather and wood work.
Today Iona is known better for the Iona Community:
The Iona Community was founded in Glasgow and Iona in 1938 by George MacLeod, minister, visionary and prophetic witness for peace, in the context of the poverty and despair of the Depression. From a dockland parish in Govan, Glasgow, he took unemployed skilled craftsmen and young trainee clergy to Iona to rebuild both the monastic quarters of the mediaeval abbey and the common life by working and living together, sharing skills and effort as well as joys and achievement. That original task became a sign of hopeful rebuilding of community in Scotland and beyond. The experience shaped – and continues to shape – the practice and principles of the Iona Community. See https://iona.org.uk/ for more information.
Over 1400 years from the founding of the first Christian community by Columba and his 12 monks Christians still meet in community. They welcome people from across the world for prayer, worship and learning. Through Wild Goose resources they share their prayer and worship material and much more.
Libasstref – Creative Commons – Wikimedia Commons
+ In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Bring us bright God from yesterday
into today and tomorrow.
Cheer us with courage.
Disturb us with justice.
Safeguard us with wisdom.
Bless us with wonder.
Cherish us with love.
(Ruth Burgess Wild Goose)
The Word of the Lord
Psalm 78 (23-29)
So he commanded the clouds above and opened the doors of heaven.
He rained down upon them manna to eat and gave them the grain of heaven.
So mortals ate the bread of angels; he sent them food in plenty.
He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens and led out the south wind by his might.
He rained flesh upon them as thick as dust and winged fowl like the sand of the sea.
He let it fall in the midst of their camp and round about their tents.
So they ate and were well filled, for he gave them what they desired.
Ephesians 4 (1-7,15,16)
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
15But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16from whom the whole body, joined and knitted together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.
Almighty God, . . .
Show to us in everything we touch and in everyone we meet
the continued assurance of Thy presence round us:
lest ever we should think Thee absent.
In all created things Thou art there.
In every friend we have the sunshine of Thy presence is shown forth.
In every enemy that seems to cross our path,
Thou art there within the cloud to challenge us to love.
Show to us the glory in the grey.
Awake for us Thy presence in the very storm
till all our joys are seen as Thee
and all our trivial tasks emerge as priestly sacraments
in the universal temple of Thy love.
Of ourselves we cannot see this.
Sure physician give us sight.
Of ourselves we cannot act.
Patient lover give us love:
till every shower of rain speaks of Thy forgiveness:
till every storm assures us that we company with Thee:
and every move of light and shadow speaks of grave and resurrection:
to assure us that we cannot die:
Thou creating, redeeming and sustaining God.
(adapted from George MacLeod, 50 Great Prayer from the Iona Community)
I suggest you may wish to come back to this prayer and reflect on the words and then slowly offer them again as a prayer.
Let us draw into our circle of prayer our:
Local church and its leaders
widening our circle to include:
those in government and positions of authority
those who are oppressed
those who are hungry and homeless
those who are ill
those facing death
Merciful Father, accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen
The Lords Prayer
+ In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
May the blessing of light be on you – light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire,
so that stranger and friend may come and warm himself at it.
And may light shine out of the two eyes of you,
like a candle set in the window of a house,
bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm.
And may the blessing of the rain be on you,
may it beat upon your Spirit and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines,
and sometimes a star.
And may the blessing of the earth be on you,
soft under your feet as you pass along the roads,
soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day;
and may it rest easy over you when, at last, you lie out under it.
May it rest so lightly over you that your soul may be out from under it quickly; up and off and on its way to God.
And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly. Amen.
You may wish the finish this time of reflective prayer sitting silently and enjoying a peaceful moment or two. You may also think about listening to some music that has touched you or a favourite hymn or song. Enjoy these moments! God bless!