MULLINGAR UNION OF PARISHES
Corona Virus Outbreak
Prayerful thoughts and comforting words at a time of National Crisis.
‘In my distress I called to the Lord and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help and you listened to my cry’.
Jonah 2 Verse 1
The outbreak of the Corona Virus has catapulted the world of Nations into an emergency that no one wanted and few expected. Everyone is now having to adjust their life in the battle against the invisible virus.
Christians can draw comfort and strength from knowing that God’s love, care and importantly hope is never overtaken by the darkness.
The Bible and prayer are two inspiring and comforting pillars of support. Quietly reading God’s word and entering His presence in prayer brings peace, healing, assurance and hope.
6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Human separation is not natural in God’s world. Humanity is built on interdependence and shaped by belonging and togetherness. We thrive on being ‘we’s not ‘I’s ’ However separation has become temporarily necessary due to the speed of the spread of the Corona virus. Physical proximity needs to be avoided. We know humans are more than ‘physical frames’ Each of us has a human spirit and personality and through the use of telephone conversation social media and the internet we can all keep in touch and belong together
No spiritual distancing is required. Our human spirits are enriched and enhanced by the divine Holy Spirit whose presence brings to our lives hope, trust, assuring life and comfort. Jesus said ‘I am with you to the end’ Matthew 28. v20
God’s presence in our lives in truly special. Presence is one of God’s great gifts to humanity.
May I invite you to prayerfully and quietly read these words of scripture which I hope you will find helpful and supportive.
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Bishop Tom Wright writes:
‘This is an invitation which pulls back the curtain and lets us see who God really is and encourages us to come into his loving welcoming presence’
And now our prayers -Let’s pray
We remember in mercy, Our Father, those who have succumbed to the Corona virus and those who have thankfully recovered and their families and friends. We ask you to bless all that is being done for their good by doctors, nurses, ambulance paramedics, medical staff, carers and pharmacists. We pray that you will surround everyone with your healing love and power. We make this our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour.
Speak to each one in your still small voice, And grant them your peace which passes understanding, that quiet confidence that only you can bring, so may their burdens be lifted, And their souls refreshed.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Most merciful Father, we commend to your care and protection those whose work is dangerous, and especially those who risk their lives for the lives of others. We thank you for their courage and their devotion to duty; and we pray that in every hour of need they may know that you are with them and may fear no evil.
We ask it in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Living Lord, conqueror of death, we remember with gladness how on the day of your resurrection you appeared to your disciples in your risen power and said to them ‘Peace be with you’. Speak that word to our hearts today, O Lord. Lift us above all our doubts and fears; and help us to practice your presence and to rest upon your victory that your peace may be with us, now and for ever more.
Lighten our darkness, O Lord , we pray and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers at this time for the love of your only son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.
The Lord’s Prayer
May the Almighty and merciful Lord, grant us all peace and preserve each of us this night and forever more.
|Lighten our Darkness– The young people will light a candle in their home and pray every evening at 7p.m. during the Coronavirus outbreak.|
Members will be telephoning parishioners who may welcome support and conversation.
|All Saints’ Church will be open for private prayers every Sunday from 10a.m. – 11a.m|
At this challenging time for everyone we should not lose confidence or hope. In the words of the people’s song ‘We will survive’. The parish is available to offer help and assistance and we will all be strengthened by our prayer and bible reading and adherence to the guidelines and advise of the civil authorities.
Please don’t hesitate at any time to telephone or e- mail me if I can be of any support or assistance to you. Telephone 087 7870985
May God bless you all at this time.
Rev. Alastair Graham