“Look! someone’s changed one of the stars on the war memorial,” my walking-companion pointed out to me: “they’ve painted it blue, and added continents to make it Planet Earth – and spikes to turn it into a SARS-CoV-2 virion.”
The memorial was to armed-service casualties from that parish in the Great War (deaths 1914-19). The design, a wayside calvary: of the kind often seen by those serving on the Western Front.
In 2020, the memorial is updated, or re-contextualised. For the blood never stops flowing. God’s healing and compassion never stop flowing. In this life, there is always more need; and God’s creative power is always more than equal to the task.It came to mind when I noticed two splendid Hereford bulls. They had been left in a field on their own, and for several minutes were mirroring each other’s movements. That such large creatures, with a reputation for being fierce, can show such affection can be quite a surprise.
I saw water coming from underneath the doorway of the Temple.
God also showed me a tiny sphere – the size of a hazelnut – lying in the palm of my hand. ‘What is this?!’ I thought. The answer came: ‘It is the whole of creation … It exists and will go on existing because God loves it into being and keeps it in being.’
(Julian of Norwich, ‘A Revelation of Love’ Chapter 5)
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ
in the trenches of life,
our commanding officer
our place of rest & restoration
when we’re sent out of the line:
look down with mercy
on the family of humankind,
and on all creation,
for whose sake you embraced your own Passion.
In our intercessions, we can aim to hold before the Lord all who have died or had their lives turned upside down this year. Some people find it helps to use a cycle of prayer – it can be home-made – so if you’re praying for your neighbourhood, every street in the area is covered; if praying for the world, every last corner is consciously held in mind in the Presence of the Creator, etc.
A reflection from Jennifer Brooker ObJN, who has been a frequent visitor of Sarum College. She has a degree in Modern Languages from the University of Oxford and master’s degree in theology awarded by Durham University.