John 17:1-5 Jesus prays for himself: After Jesus said this, he looked towards heaven and prayed: Father the time has now come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life; that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I have brought you glory by completing the work you gave me to do. And now Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ we are approaching Easter in this Holy Week looking forward to an Easter which will be completely different to anything any of us have ever experienced before. Instead of coming together in the Body of Christ in church to celebrate, give thanks and remember the amazing sacrifice which Jesus made for us, we will have to do that in our homes. I pray that our celebrations will nevertheless still honour the King of kings and Lord of lords. Try if you can and access one of the services which a number of our churches are livestreaming; thank God for their initiative.
Let us come together in mind and Spirit as we once again declare Him to be Risen Indeed.
Let us also continue to pray for families who have lost loved ones in this pandemic, pray for those who have fallen ill that they may make a full recovery. Pray for our Prime Minister that he will be restored to full health. Pray for our National Health Service and the many dedicated doctors, nurses and associated staff who seek to treat, comfort and bring healing to their patients whether they have the virus or other medical conditions. Pray for the many people who are committed to ensuring that our needs can be met in the emergency services, in shops and in stores and in many other areas. Let us also pray for the many thousands of volunteers up and down the nation who are seeking to help those less fortunate than themselves as well as the vulnerable folk in our society.
Let us also pray for those who have to conduct funerals in these changed circumstances where the absence of wider family, friends and acquaintances makes the grieving for families so much more painful, and where funeral arrangements have to be made sometimes by electronic means; pray for a special sensitivity and compassion for everyone who has that responsibility.
Finally, help us as a Presbytery and as individual congregations to continue to pray. Pray that God will inspire each of us to think about and explore new ways to share the wonder of Easter with our families, friends and the folk we might come into contact with; albeit from a safe distance. I pray that each one of us will have a special sense of God’s presence in this time of Easter.
God Bless you all and keep safe. Jack McHugh
Thine be the Glory Risen conquering Son, endless is the victory Thou o’er death hast won.