I started writing this reflection in a week when lockdown measures were beginning to ease, but in Wales I am still not allowed to travel further than five miles. I haven’t seen my sister for 14 weeks and it looks like it’ll be another 2 before I can.
It feels like forever and when the First Minister announced that extra time I could’ve cried. I didn’t so much want to lift up my soul but shout some rather choice words.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s emotions have been all over the place over the last few months when all of life, including our spiritual life, has changed drastically. I’m also conscious that you will be reading this on Advent Sunday, a time when we reflect on the past and look to the future with anticipation and hope.
Over the last few months, we have had to learn to adapt and rely on others more. For some it has not been easy, after all we live in a society which promotes self-sufficiency and instant gratification. Yet our Psalmist prays that instead of living for self, and depending on our personal resources, we should depend on God. Finding our hope and trust and security in God. Having confidence, not in ourselves, but in God.
This is a characteristic Psalm of petition seeking the Lord’s intervention at a particular time of need. It can be easy to dismiss the Psalms as irrelevant, how can something written so long ago have any bearing on our lives? But we need to remember that God is active in our lives now, we just don’t always recognise such intervention as coming from God.
There is much we can learn from the Psalmist and so we pray…
Lord of life we put our trust in you. When life is hard, you are there to support us. When life is good, you share our joy. As we enter this Advent season, help us to recognise and give thanks for your presence in our lives. Amen
The Rev’d Branwen Rees, East Wales Regional Minister