Thought for the month with Deacon Vincent Calder
Life is hectic and everything seems to be going at 100 miles an hour. Besides it being hectic, it is noisy.
Life is hectic and everything seems to be going at 100 miles an hour. Besides it being hectic, it is noisy. We see walkers and runners and cyclists with their earphones clamped into position locking them into their own particular world of sound. In amongst all of this noise and business it is very difficult to find a time or a place to listen for the Lord.
Most of us are not fortunate enough to have the experience that St. Paul encountered on the road to Damascus, when the Lord stopped him in his tracks and forced him to listen to him, but there are places where peace and tranquillity can be found and one such place is the little church of St. Lawrence, right in the middle of Chipping Sodbury, next door to the Squire Inn.
You enter via an archway and come into a stone paved courtyard, it was once the entrance for a coaching inn, to the right you will find a double doorway, it is usually open; entrance takes you into a little church, it smells of polish and incense, the light streams in through the large windows on your left, the wooden benches allow you to sit or kneel and ahead is a beautiful altar. Along the walls are pictures of the Lord’s journey to his death on Calvary. It was once a stable for the coaching horses. There is a stillness, which allows you to sit and ponder on the mystery of life. There is a presence in this place; hundreds of people have brought their joys and sorrows here to the Lord and he has always made himself available, both in the past and the present. You can explore your deeper parts that we quite often shut up in the noise and speed of life, but here you look at the Lord and he looks at you, and you find yourself opening closed compartments of yourself to him, as indeed he opens himself to you.
Then you can go back into the turbulent world refreshed and ready to face anything the world can throw at you. You have encountered the Lord in your life and you can repeat the experience in the quietness of your own home, by closing the door on the world and just opening yourself to him. I find the opening words “It is lovely to be with you Lord, if only for a few moments.” creates the scene.
Lay before him your concerns about your life, and the world and share your joys with him, or just be still. It is the beginning of a conversation with the Lord that will take you on a journey to eternity. Any church if it is open will afford you an encounter with the Lord and if the Church is closed sit quietly in the Church yard; Churches are where people gather to praise the Lord and that prayer soaks into the fabric of the building, and we in turn become living stones.
Deacon Vincent Calder
Parish Deacon of St. Lawrence & St. Paul’s
Chipping Sodbury & Yate