Dear Friends
John 14:  26, 27
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
I have been discerning that the level of anxiety has been rising for many people as they have to start making decisions about how and when to leave their safe haven and venture into the outside world again.
Today, I saw a long socially distanced queue for the fish stall on the market.  Probably 70% of this queue were of a certain age and I got the impression thai for many of them this was their first trip to any form of shop since March.  I think the fish stall is a good first shopping trip.  You see loads of people to chat to, it’s all outside and the fish is extremely good!  I got the feeling that an initial anxiety had turned to pure exuberance as the community began to meet each other again.  It wasn’t peaceful but it felt right.
Jesus describes his Holy Spirit as an advocate.  My understanding of this word is that it describes someone who facilitates something for a third party.  There is an implication that it is usually something that they would struggle to achieve without this help.  If you are in the situation of wondering how and when to begin your reintegration into society after months of shielding then you could do worse than relying on the Holy Spirit to guide you and support you on those first hesitant forays.  That’s what a good advocate would do for you.
And if you have decided that what you want to do is relatively low risk but the anxious feelings are bubbling up inside you, say a prayer asking for the protection of the Advocate, and then pluck up your courage and do it.  And remember the fish stall.  Your initial worry is likely to turn to peace and joy.  That’s biblical!  And if you are really panicking, try ringing a friend you trust before you start.  You can both pray for each other and ask for the protection of the Spirit. Jesus said, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.  Sometimes just knowing that someone else understands and is there for you can help you achieve what you are aiming for, so prayer for the Spirit to enable that as well.
A prayer
Touch me, O Lord, and fill me with your light and your hope.
O Holy Spirit, please give me strength when I am weak,
love when I feel forsaken,
courage when I am afraid,
wisdom when I feel foolish,
comfort when I am alone,
hope when I feel rejected,
and peace when I am in turmoil. Amen
Listen to
Come Holy Ghost, our souls inspire.
If you would like to join us for Evening Prayer today (Thursday) it is at 4.30pm
The link is:
Topic: Zoom Evening Prayer on Thursday
Time: Jul 9, 2020 04:30 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 896 4376 1733
Password: 945205
The times for Evening Prayer for the rest of the week are as follows:
Friday 5.00pm
Saturday 5.00pm
Sunday worship Parish Communion at 9am in church and Zoom Worship at 10.30am.  Sunday Evening Prayer is at 6pm on Zoom
Every blessing