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There are holy feet to be sat at….

24 March 2020 (3pm)

A reflection from Jane Day - Faith and Society Team

As the Covid 19 crisis continues to cause lockdown and fear across the world I wonder if we would benefit more from indulging in God’s love and sitting at his feet?

It is very clear that we are in this for the long haul and the fear is palpable.  We are also in this together.  Many in our churches and communities have already received letters informing them that they should stay indoors for 12 weeks.  The whole country is invited to stay at home for the next three weeks and only travel if absolutely necessary.  The landscape of our diaries, church programmes, Easter worship, daily routines, planned holidays, house moves and care of elderly parents and children has radically changed.  How do we respond?

It has been suggested that one of the best antidotes to fear is love.  In times of crisis we do not benefit less, but more from prayer.  Is this an opportunity for our inner life to be decorated and saturated with the one who calls each of us ‘my beloved’?  There are indeed holy feet to be sat at and God is waiting.

In Luke’s gospel we read the story of Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus. (Luke 10:38-42)  We recall the story and notice that Martha was distracted by all her preparations and her serving.  Each of us will play host to both Mary and Martha at various points and transitions in our lives. There is space for both and our world needs both. As I write this I am mindful of the Martha spirit in our NHS workers, police, government and those providing essential food provision. Last week our churches had the feel of Martha. There was much to be done in serving, announcements to be made about Sunday worship, decisions to be made about foodbanks, pastoral concerns, safeguarding issues, financial matters, website updates and much more. Social media went crazy and at times it felt like the race was on to have a carefully crafted sermon prepared with live streaming up and running for Sunday morning. Last week was anything but normal and yet we rose to the challenge of comfortably filling the shoes of Martha.

Perhaps this week has a different feel as we gradually move into a new norm and the reality of what this feels and looks like for ourselves, our families and the communities whom we love and serve.  Will we be able to comfortably fill the shoes of Mary and sit at the feet of Jesus?  Sitting is a practice in observation, in acceptance, in compassion and in stillness.  Sitting is one of the easiest things in the world to do and one of the most challenging.  If there was ever a time to sit at holy feet then now is the time.  There are holy feet to be sat at…

The following poem has been written by Liezel Graham, Poet and Storyteller.  In her words, she writes in order to capture ‘beauty in the struggle’.  These are days of significant challenge and may we all capture beauty in the struggle.  There are holy feet to be sat at…

Becoming Mary…

And

there are times

when I am Martha,

choosing the brief comfort

that zealous labour brings,

when broom in hand

I strive to regain

desperate control over this valley.

But there is a time and a place

for everything

and rest is not afraid of dust

and disorder.

And there are holy feet

to be sat at

where these withered bones

can be revived.

So,

I sit allowing

my tender faith to unfurl,

as the world hurries by.

 

By Liezel Graham (used here with permission)

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