Prayer and blessing by Iain Todd

In my absence, Old High St Stephen’s will be looked after by our elders, one of whom, Iain Todd, will be leading worship on most Sundays. Iain offered this blessing and prayers at the end of today’s service at St Stephen’s.

At the end of this church family service let’s close with a blessing for Peter , the traveller and it comes from the Irish writer John O’Donohoe –

Every time you leave home, another road takes you into a world you were never in.
New strangers on other paths await. New places that have never seen you will startle at your entry.
Old places that know you well will pretend nothing changed since your last visit.
When you travel you find yourself alone in a different way.
More attentive now to the self you bring along. Your more subtle eye watching you abroad;
And how what meets you, touches that part of the heart that lies low at home:
How you unexpectedly attune to the timbre in some voice,
opening a conversation you want to take in to where your longing has pressed hard enough, inward, on some unsaid dark, to create a crystal of insight you could not have known you needed to illuminate your way.
When you travel, a new silence goes with you, and if you listen,
You will hear what your heart would love to say.
A journey can become a sacred thing.
Make sure, before you go, to take the time
To bless your going forth, to free your heart of ballast
so that the compass of your soul might direct you towards the territories of spirit where you will discover more of your hidden life;
And the urgencies that deserve to claim you.
May you travel in an awakened way, gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations which await along the way to transform you.
May you travel safely, arrive refreshed and live time away to its fullest;
Return home, more enriched, and free to balance the gift of days which call you.

‘Benedictus’ A Book of blessings by John O’Donohue [Author of Anam Cara]

Let us pray

Lord God we thank you for our time together this morning – it is good to be together gathered around your word and especially today which is special for us all in different ways
We pray for Peter – Peter the traveller – Peter the student- as he sets out on his long awaited, much planned and long deserved study leave in America. May he achieve what he seeks in his study and in the busyness of travel and chat, may he still find time for personal reflection. May all his travel and personal plans work smoothly. Loving God we rest secure in the knowledge that he goes, not alone, but with your Spirit guiding him and your grace sustaining him. Be with him in all of his experiences and conversations until he is reunited with Katharina, Daniel and Hannah for a wonderful holiday of fun, of new sights and sounds and guide them all safely home at the end of next month.
We pray for Katharina, Daniel and Hannah and over the next 5 weeks- especially for Katharina as she copes with end of term activities, the daily grind and the increasing excitement and planning of the holiday- in addition to all she does behind the scenes for us as a congregation. May she continue to be fully aware of the love and support which we can offer her in Your name especially in these weeks ahead.
And we pray for our congregation over the next 2 months – Lord God remind us that we too are travelers on our own faith journeys- that we are also students growing and learning how to grow as a community – bind us together as we all use our gifts to love and support, to encourage and reassure each other, all underpinned by your amazing grace.

And now the blessing
The guarding of the God of life be on us all, the guarding of the loving Christ be on us all, the guarding of the Holy Spirit be on us all
To aid us and enfold us
This day and evermore
Threefold Amen.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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About Rev Peter W Nimmo

Minister of Old High St Stephen's Church, Inverness, Scotland, UK www.oldhighststephens.com
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