Daily Reflection 8th May

Bank Holiday Friday Edition

Today’s Bank Holiday in honour of the 75th Anniversary of VE Day is a bank holiday weekend like no other. Strangely, the reason for today’s designation may have a deeper resonance as we contemplate self-sacrifice, the struggle for peace and freedom, and victory over the grave. It is a day for honouring those who died, but one too for optimism – we will meet again!

You will see below that these themes run through the four things of our bumper edition of  today’s ‘Daily Reflection’. The 8th May is not only the anniversary of VE Day, but also the day in the church’s calendar that marks the life of the spiritual writer, Julian of Norwich. Surely her most famous saying could not be more appropriate – a point not lost on our own writer, Angela Saunders, who offers her beautiful reflection today. Then, we begin to gear up once again for our online service and ‘get together’ on Sunday … details all below.

Wherever you’re reading this, whether you’re able to see neighbours at a distance in marking the moments below – we join together in a bond of faith that has been so evident over these past weeks. As we said at the very outset:

Our community is strong.
Our faith is strong.
We will overcome together.

VE Day CongaWe love the lack of social distancing in this VE Day conga!

On 8th May 1945, Allied Powers accepted the surrender of the Armed Forces of Nazi Germany and the end of the Third Reich. Many more were still to die as war continued in the Far East, yet this Victory in Europe Day marked a significant turning point: the chance to claim victory, celebrate the emerging peace with faith and joy, and honour the fallen. Today, amongst much BBC coverage, and ways in which some neighbours are finding to ‘come together’, we are encouraged to hold:

Today’s reflection is from Angela Saunders:

Julian of Norwich

Julian of Norwich

Yr wyf yn gwbl sicr na all nac angau nac einioes, nac angylion na thywysogaethau, na’r presennol na’r dyfodol, na grymusterau nac uchelderau na dyfnderau, na dim arall a grëwyd, ein gwahanu ni oddi wrth gariad Duw yng Nghrist Iesu ein Harglwydd.

Rhufeiniaid 8: 38-39

For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, or height or depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8: 38-39

Angela Saunders writes:

When we go through difficult times, it is natural to turn to others who have been through similar situations and weathered the storm. They give us hope and courage that, we too, will survive whatever hardship we are going through. When I was widowed nearly eight years ago, I immediately felt a bond with those recently widowed in my parish. I didn’t necessarily need to talk with them very much, but I was strengthened by the bond of shared suffering, of understanding and the glimmer of hope that life would one day be bearable again.

So why should we turn to Julian of Norwich for help in our present situation? What did Julian know of virus and lockdown? Although she lived 1342 – 1420, Julian experienced much of what we are going through now. She grew up in Norwich against the background of the Thirty Years War and two plague epidemics which decimated the country and she herself suffered a severe illness that took her close to death. As an adult, Julian became an anchoress, a woman of prayer, living in a ‘cell’ attached to a church. She did not leave the confines of her cell except for short walks in the garden around the church; food was brought to her by a maid and she probably earned a little income from sewing to support them both. Not only was Julian living in self-isolation, but she also lived with social distancing – people who came to share their troubles with her, spoke to her through a window.

What did Julian have to say to those that came? What does she say to us?

Her most famous words, from the revelations she received during her illness, are:

‘All shall be well and all shall be well,

and all manner of things shall be well.’
All will be well because God is love and He loves us completely just as we are, wherever we are, whatever our situation. He is here, in the midst of all we are going through. He will never leave us.

Lord, you are with us at every moment,
In our sickness and our health,
In our worries and our joys,
In our despair and our hope
In our watching and our waiting,
In our doing and our being.
Let us know the fullness of your love,
The gentleness of your embrace
And the trust that all will be well.

Angela Saunders

Church Online

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