Pausing to Listen


…Granddaughter-Hannah’s 18th birthday. There will be a family meal tonight, there’s a big party planned for tomorrow… there will be presents, decorations, eating, drinking, music, laughter, conversations, loudness… Hannah will enjoy being the centre of attention… it will be hard to keep Hannah quiet! We shall all enjoy the noise and celebrations.

We pause to listen… we see the woman Hannah is now, and is becoming.

…Comic Relief Day. People will wear red noses, dress up in crazy clothing, do mad things, raise money… The BBC says tonight will be ‘The UK’s biggest night of comedy and entertainment, with hilarious sketches, live performances, big surprises and stunning music acts.’

Red Nose Day always raises millions of pounds that’s used to tackle poverty, supporting projects and charities around the world.

We pause to listen… to those going through very tough times…

…I read. The prophet Elijah’s seen his God act in big dramatic ways – healing a dead boy, protecting him from a murderous queen, sending fire from heaven. Now he’s alone, hungry, tired, depressed.

Elijah sits in a cave, hoping his God will speak. There’s a powerful wind, an earthquake, a fire. God’s not now in the big and dramatic…

Elijah pauses to listen… to God who comes in a gentle whisper.

…St Patrick’s Day. There will be Irish parties with folk dressing in green… shamrocks, leprechauns, Guinness… celebrating as only the Irish can!

Some will remember St Patrick… taken to Ireland as a slave… escaping.. becoming a Christian priest and bishop… returning to Ireland as a missionary… playing a major part in bringing Christianity to the Irish… bringing us the ‘St Patrick’s Breastplate’ prayer that (in one version) includes the lines:

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise…

Patrick pauses to listen… aware of his God

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