Thought for the Day : Friday 23 April

Thought for the Day by Richard Wilson (St Chad’s)

Readings: Joshua 1:1 – 9 and Ephesians 6:10 – 20

Today is St George’s Day, England’s patron Saint and as often occurs when a name appears before you, the mind starts to wander into the past and remind you of all sorts of things.

But back to the readings – The Old Testament reading tells us that after the death of Moses the Lord appointed Joshua in his place. Joshua was to lead the Israelites across the Jordan but he had to be strong and courageous, not be afraid and to keep to the Lord’s word and then God would be with him.

The New Testament reading is headed ‘The armour of God’ and in a different way wishes us to protect ourselves from the works of the devil. Paul uses each part of the armour for a specific purpose e.g. the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit.

This passage ends by stressing the importance of praying at any time about anything.

So you are now ahead of me!

Yes, the connection is St George (slaying the dragon) and it is a statue – see below – that came to mind. You pass this life-size statue of St George in full armour on the way out of the tour of the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem. I hope you will see the connection with Ephesians’ reading.

Several years ago (large number!!) on another St George’s Day I played Evensong in Canterbury Cathedral when the anthem was by Elgar and related to St George. What a place and day to worship. If you have been to Canterbury Cathedral you will recognise the places I mention but from the top of the screen where the organist plays they can all be seen at once -the length of the nave, all the East end – the Quire and the Trinity Chapel area east of the Quire, and the vaulted ceiling of the central crossing under the Bell Harry tower. It had a profound effect on me which I will always remember. What a privilege.

I leave you with a thought. This is one of many fantastic privileges which I have had, but do we all appreciate how often we have them, and do we remember them and thank God for all his kindnesses often enough. Have a great St George’s Day.

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