Thought for the Day
As we prepared for school closure I was asked by a parent to ensure that we supported children and parents by giving some spiritual words of encouragement. This is my response. I'm not sure how long or how often this will get updated but here goes..........
Psalm 9 v1 (NIV)
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Yesterday I had a ‘moment’ - a wave of emotion swept over me. I wasn't expecting it and it caught me unawares. It reminded me of when I was grieving after my mum’s death. Something about the change to plans, the uncertainty, the saying goodbye without knowing when we will meet again; the sadness of sharing what others are going through.
At the Adventurers Club, we are following the Easter story. We read together how the women went to the tomb to find it empty. They arrived in sadness but left with gladness because they found Jesus had risen. The story was called ‘The Happy Day’. We talked about how when something sad or bad happens, and perhaps we get hurt physically or emotionally, we might cry but we start to learn that things do get better. We discussed how we build resilience and hope in our lives. There will be happy days ahead.
We’ve got ourselves into a gentle rhythm and all the children from Years R to 6 are now happy to pray. I’d love you all to be a fly on the wall to hear their prayers.
It feels to me like we are dwelling in the shadow of the Most High, as in the shelter of a mountain wall.
“This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.
Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.
If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.”
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
By Amanda Coyne
At first, we weren't so worried
A virus, so they say
We shook our heads
And said some prayers
But we were all ok!
Then, really rather quickly
Things changed dramatically
It was far worse than we first thought
now, was clear to see.
Folk began to panic
Fear spread to every soul
But strangely, our first thought, it seemed
Was, quick! Buy toilet roll !!
The shelves in shops were empty
No meat, no milk or bread
Long queues formed outside shop fronts
The news announced, more dead
Like scenes straight from a movie
Advice was ..isolate
Stay at home
Do not mix
Or you might meet your fate
But, what has become apparent
Through uncertain, anxious days
Is just how many people shine
Like summer sunshine rays
The acts of human kindness
You hear of every day
It makes you smile
Lifts up your heart
You think, yes, we'll be ok.
It's only the beginning,
No one knows how things will be
But while we learn
And carry on, and pour a cup of tea
I send you, each and every one
My love, my thoughts and prayers
Stay safe, be strong
And don't forget
There's someone here that cares.
May God’s love enfold you and bring you peace today and all days.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Extraordinary, unprecedented, crazy - all words we are using to describe the times we are living in. Everything is changing every day, yet life goes on; babies are being born, people fall in love, we eat, sleep and work. Today we can walk on the street – tomorrow who knows? When we find the world unsettling and everyone is living with fear, we need to start each new day afresh, recognizing not only our own vulnerability but the vulnerability of others. Each day is new, things will change; it has always been so, but God's love never changes. It is steadfast.
These are not normal times, but for our children, we need to make them as normal as possible. Yesterday at Adventurers club we read the story of how children were brought to Jesus; the grown-ups who had troubles of their own shooed them away - of course, they thought they were far more important than little children. Jesus had a different message. He said, “Let the children come to me and do not stop them; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Children listen to our worries and concerns; they feel the vibes and they listen to the radio and TV. They don’t always have the vocabulary to describe their feelings. Spend time with your children, listen to them and help them to feel reassured. Take time to re-set with them each new day.
Isaiah 40:31 Living Bible (TLB)
'But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.
They shall rise up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint'
Yesterday morning we took advantage of Mrs. Cory-Wright being in school to practice mindfulness; the short time we took out to relax and let our minds wander was for teachers and children alike a refreshing start to the day. Scarlet prayed the most amazing prayer, thanking God for her family, for the teachers who are looking after her and for her friends and for the wonderful world we live in. The children moved on to their daily tasks with fresh enthusiasm.
In the last few days, I've heard of children taking up new hobbies, learning to knit, learn sign language, do science experiments or just spend a couple of hours quietly painting. These are helpful ways to make the most of this extra time gifted to us. It would be all too easy to feel overwhelmed, anxious and frustrated.
The bible says those who wait, stop and contemplate will renew their strength. Just a few moments in quiet reflection, enjoying the sunshine or listening to relaxing music can make a huge difference. Time to reflect means that we can rise above the mundane and the unthinkable.
I've only once seen a golden eagle in Scotland and it was a magnificent sight as it rose above the clouds with natural ease and grace yet enormous power. Try waiting on God, practising mindfulness, reflecting on the peace and beauty in nature, living in faith and this will bring elation to your run, dance to your day and new energy to try new things, get things done and stay positive.
13 He sends rain upon the mountains and fills the earth with fruit. 14 The tender grass grows up at his command to feed the cattle, and there are fruit trees, vegetables, and grain for man to cultivate, 15 and wine to make him glad, and olive oil as a lotion for his skin, and bread to give him strength. 16 The Lord planted the cedars of Lebanon. They are tall and flourishing. 17 There the birds make their nests, the storks in the firs. 18 High in the mountains are pastures for the wild goats, and rock badgers burrow in among the rocks and find protection there.
19 He assigned the moon to mark the months and the sun to mark the days. 20 He sends the night and darkness when all the forest folk come out. 21 Then the young lions roar for their food, but they are dependent on the Lord. 22 At dawn they slink back into their dens to rest, 23 and men go off to work until the evening shadows fall again. 24 O Lord, what a variety you have made! And in wisdom, you have made them all! The earth is full of your riches.
Thought for the Day Friday, March 20th, 2020
Song of Solomon 2:11-13 (ASV)
“11 For, lo, the winter is past; The rain is over and gone;
12 The flowers appear on the earth; The time of the singing of birds has come, and the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land;
13 The fig-tree ripens her green figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth their fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
Today is the first day of Spring and the last day of school for the time being. We are called to ‘come away’ to protect the lives of others - God calls us to walk with Him, by faith down unknown paths. We hope that by the summer we can all be back in school but who knows! That’s what faith is about; walking into the unknown.
Today in assembly we will say our goodbyes and look forward to the time when we will be together again. If we don’t come back before September we promise to Year 6, come what may, to give them a special celebration day. We will steal you away from your secondary schools if necessary.
Now is a time for you to treasure your families, to make the most of all the quality time you have. Play games, cook, paint, take up gardening, put the world to rights, get to know each other, but above all be kind to yourselves. Show your children how to be resilient in challenging times. There will be moments of high emotion; this afternoon may well be so for teachers and children. We all need those moments to help us become resilient; cry together, laugh together.
Look up, look out, look forward and make the most of every moment.
Here’s a beautiful piece of music to lift your spirits.