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The Future


Two years ago, we had not heard of Covid 19, and only eighteen months ago did we begin to become aware of this weird, rapidly mutating and apocalyptic virus. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine was admitted to hospital after a seemingly minor fall, and sadly died a few days later. People in Germany, Belgium, and The Netherlands have experienced totally unexpected and catastrophic flooding. We shall never know what fate has in store for us, and it is abundantly clear from the gospels that nothing has changed: look at the story of the wise virgins in Matthew 25 and ‘end of the world’ woe passage in Luke 21.

With these events in mind, it behoves us to keep our own spiritual houses in order, and indeed we should not wait: ‘Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the son of man cometh’. Unexpected natural disasters, illness, and sudden death may lurk round the corner for us all and there is nothing we can do about it.

On the other hand, we can and should be prepared spiritually to meet our maker, even if it happens at very short notice. This requires an awareness of our relationship with God which we may discover in our prayer lives, and this not necessarily mean the times when we are actively ‘on our knees’ but also passively when looking at nature or art, listening to music, or being in the company of friends and family.

Perhaps at bedtime, we could spend a few moments reflecting on the events of the day and offer them to God – and, on waking, offer the new day to God.

                                                                                                                     Deacon Douglas Macmillan


Collect for St James the Apostle

Merciful God,

whose holy apostle Saint James,

leaving his father and all that he had,

was obedient to the calling of your Son Jesus Christ

and followed him even to death:

help us, forsaking the false attractions of the world,

to be ready at all times to answer your call without delay;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.