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From the Minister

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Thought for the Day Maundy Thursday 10th April




MAUNDY THURSDAY APRIL 10th



During this period of lock-down I have been working on my prayer life. I am reading a couple of challenging books about prayer and following the daily prayers of the Northumbria Community.



The words of a hymn keep coming to mind:

“Father, hear the prayer we offer:

not for ease that prayer shall be”.



The books that I am reading make that point – too often my prayers are prayers for ease, when they should be about strength and courage to face all adversities.



After the supper on Maundy Thursday, Jesus and his disciples go out to the Garden of Gethsemane. Matthew’s gospel recounts that Jesus went to pray on his own three times: The first time he says: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” The second time he says: “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” Matthew tells us that on the third time Jesus says the same thing.



In these prayers Jesus does not pray for ease, nor does he impetuously rush into suffering. I think the writer of the line “Cheerful he to suffering goes” has somewhat missed the point.



The prayers of Jesus in the garden re-enforce the lessons I have been learning about prayer. It is OK for us to pray that the cup of suffering be taken from us, provided we genuinely can pray “not my will but your will be done.”



It is also alright for us to be fearful of what is to come. We should not rush gung-ho into danger and suffering, but as followers of Jesus embrace it, if that is the Father’s will.



When we are “Oft in danger, oft in woe” (in the words of another hymn), we know that we can rely on Jesus who has been there ahead of us to give us strength and courage.


Steve Wallis



 
Newbridge Baptist Church
Llanafan Road, Newbridge, Powys, LD1 6LY
Telephone The Minister: 01597 860185
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