A prayer for February:
Almighty God, you have taught us that your word is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path. Help us, and all who prayerfully read your word, to deepen our fellowship with you and with each other through your love. And in so doing may we come to know you more fully, love you more truly and follow you more faithfully in the steps of your son Jesus Christ, who loves and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for evermore. Amen
This prayer has been seen as a constant companion to pilgrims in their journey through life. It speaks strongly of a journey rather than a destination. It suggest the swaying lamp, lighting our path, dispelling the shadows, inviting us to stop by the wayside, study the map and take some refreshment before we continue on our adventure. It is a prayer for the pilgrim who is invited to step in the shoes of Christ.
A pilgrim wanders through life, often limping, at times lost but always searching – often quite unconsciously – for something or someone to make sense of life and death. This prayer begins with a promise of a lamp to light our path and it suggests that we should invite others to join us too. We all know how friendships are deepened with the shared experience of travelling together. The prayer reflects too, the ‘stickability’ needed by anyone who seeks to be a true follower of Jesus.
Knowing god more fully, loving him more truly and following more faithfully are goals set by this prayer. They are reached by stepping into the footprints of Jesus Christ, encountering him through the guiding of the Holy spirit, and continuing this life of adventure as a pilgrim in the company of others, thankful for the sanctity of the present moment.
May this inspire us all during February and as we prepare for Lent which begins in March.
Ian (Rev Canon Ian Greenhalgh)
BISHOP FOR OUR NEW DIOCESE ANNOUNCED
Downing Street announced on 4 February that Bishop Nick, currently Bishop of Bradford, will be the bishop of the new Diocese of Leeds (West Yorkshire & the Dales). Bishop Nick was introduced in Leeds by the Archbishop of York, who said, “I am delighted and am rejoicing in the nomination of Bishop Nicholas Baines to be elected as the first Bishop of Leeds, in West Yorkshire and the Dales. Bishop Nick brings a well-grounded understanding of the area he will serve, together with the vision, energy, and experience in strategic change, which will equip him for his ministry leading the church in mission across the new Diocese. He is well-known as a communicator of the Gospel, connecting with people outside the church as well as with parishioners. We have a lot to look forward to in Leeds, West Yorkshire and the Dales. On the day of Pentecost, June 8th, we shall celebrate the Inauguration of the new Diocese, and the Confirmation of Election of your new Bishop. I call on everyone in Bradford, Ripon & Leeds, and Wakefield Dioceses to join me in praying for Bishop Nick, and for Linda his wife, as they prepare, with you, for this exciting new beginning.”
Bishop Nick says, “It is a great honour and privilege – as well as an enormous responsibility – to be nominated to this post. I’m fully aware of the challenges this brings, but am confident that this new diocese will thrive. Let’s walk this new journey together as we forge new friendships, cross old boundaries and shape a vision for this new Diocese. I am excited by what lies ahead of us.”
You can read more about Bishop Nick on his blog here: http://nickbaines.wordpress.com/