A Holy Week Reflection

Simon of Cyrene, shown here in Rubens painting, is mentioned in three of the four Gospels as the man impelled by the Roman soldiers to carry Jesus’ cross out of Jerusalem. 

Cyrene was situated in modern-day Libya, on the northern coast of the African continent. Settled by the Greeks in 630 B.C. and later infused with a significant Jewish population, Cyrene was the capital of the Roman district of Cyrenaica at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion. 

Simon of Cyrene could not change the course of events.  He was powerless in the face of Roman might, perhaps like we at the present time feel powerless, as we watch the news and see the spread of Coronavirus and increasing numbers of deaths across the world.  And yet Simon rose to the task he was given and shared in the burden of Christ.

This prayer by Tom Gordon challenges us, like Simon, to walk the same way, playing what little part we can to love Christ in our neighbour, slowing the spread of the disease by staying at home, praying for those around us, encouraging those who are afraid or isolated, and showing love and practical care to all who need it.

God who knows my frailties, forgive my self-doubt and uncertainty, 

when I am content from a distance to watch others’ pain.

God who calls my name, even when I am reluctant, forgive my resistance and my fear of being overwhelmed by the task you compel me to take on.

God who offers me the cross, a burden too great for me to carry, help me be a willing participant on a journey I can neither understand nor change.

God who believes in me, help me to go on believing that you take the little I have offered and use it to make a difference.

God who knows me and calls me, who burdens me and believes in me, help me to hear your voice of thanks, and be ready to serve again.  Amen.

[Revd Jane Cresswell]

Agnus Dei

O Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.

O Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.

O Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world, grant us thy peace.

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