Morning Prayer Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Good Morning Cornerstone Friends.

Picture of Iona Abbey

I hope you like this photo of the Abbey at Iona which is situated off the Isle of Mull on the west coast of Scotland. I have visited this beautiful island and I know that some of you have too. Based there is the Iona Community which is a dispersed ecumenical Christian group of people from different walks of life and different traditions working together on acting, reflecting and praying for justice and peace and the integrity of creation. They also produce wonderful worship aids and songs. We often sing some of their songs at the Cornerstone and for our daily prayers today I am going to dip into their moving resources.

First an Iona hymn called “God’s graceful moment“.

Morning opens wide before us
like a door into the light.
Just beyond, the day lies waiting
ready to throw off the night,
and we stand upon its threshold
poised to turn and take its flight.

Now the earth in all its glory
springs to meet the rising sun,
warms to all who walk upon it,
cradling all that will be done.
All our labour, all our loving
mingle and become as one.

We receive God’s graceful moment,
while the day is fresh and still,
ours to choose how we will greet it,
ours to make it what we will.
Here is given perfect freedom,
every hope in love to fulfil.

As we take the first step together,
Passing through the door of the day,
may the love of Christ the Creator
give us peace in all that we say,
heart for all that lies before us,
grace to guide us on our way.

Now an opening Iona prayer.

God in our midst, come close to us,
and help us to come close to you,
as, for a fraction of time,
we step back from the activities of the day .
May we treasure such moments with you.
Moments when we can bring to you
the things we are doing,
and find new meaning for them,
and new strength for doing them.
And moments for recalling
how we are meeting you already,
in the stuff of daily living and engagement,
when faith is tested
and compassion is translated into action.
So if, as the day goes on, we forget you,
do not forget us, O God.

Our Bible reading is Psalm 30 in the Iona Community translation.

Sing praise to God, all you faithful people!
Give thanks to the Holy name of God!

I cried to you for help, O God,
and you my God have healed me.
I was on the way to the depths below,
but you have restored my life.
The moment of anger
becomes a life time of goodness.
The tears of night
turn to joy with the dawn.
You have changed my sadness
to a joyful dance.
You have taken away my sorrow
and surrounded me with joy.

My soul will sing your praise
and never be silent.
O God, my God,
I will give you thanks for ever.

At the Cornerstone, we are embarking on our journey to create an oasis of hope. Heavenly Father, we pray now for guidance, strength and commitment as we begin this vital task. Help us to spread our concern, care and love to all those in our congregation and to all those who live, work in and visit the city centre.

We cannot connect unless we communicate. Heavenly Father, help us to work out the best ways to relate to those who live in and visit the city centre and the fast-growing Campbell Park area. Give the enthusiasm, time and energy to each of us to do what we can to spread the word of what we have to offer at the Cornerstone and the grace to listen to what residents and visitors tell us they need.

In our outreach, Father, help us to develop deeper relationships with groups already in existence such as Milton Keynes Council, Community Action and local businesses and charities. And we ask for your blessing on our Small Corners project. Enable us to widen our horizons and to realise that we can achieve so much more when we stretch out our arms and work with others.

And to finish another Iona prayer.

Liberator Christ, You came into a holy place and read the sacred word about sight for blind folk and freedom for prisoners. Come to this place now. Read these words to us till our own eyes are opened, our faith is unlocked, and we can see the world as it is. and as it could be; till the yearnings of ordinary people are taken seriously, and the visions of the young are valued, and the potential of the old is released; till your kingdom is celebrated everywhere, and your church is good news to the poor.

Have a blessed day, Cornerstone Friends.

Rosemary Goldie