On Thursday, I had the privilege of meeting, praying and worshipping with Christian members of our Armed Forces, at their main Day of Prayer event at St Clement Danes in London.
I was there on behalf of Mothers’ Union in the Diocese of Winchester trying to raise awareness of a pilot project we are running funding relationship counselling for those serving in our Armed Forces. I was able to link up with various Chaplain’s including senior RAF and Naval Padre’s that my husband and I worked with last summer. My colleague and I also managed to link up with more members of the Armed Forces Christian Union who are working with us on this project.
But I gained so much more from what I shared with them.
The theme of the day was “Hope”, the Christian hope. In his sermon at the formal service, The Ven Ray Pentland (Archdeacon to the RAF) described hope as being the environment in which love thrives best, like fish do in water. He also spoke of the hope that Christian members of the Armed Forces have being not wishful thinking, not based purely on scripture, but being the experience of knowing the risen Christ was alongside them in what they were doing.
Listening to some of the padre’s, and a military physiotherapist talking about the Walled Garden Project at Headley Court and sharing in their prayer focus (deployed personnel, the uncertainty and change caused by the Strategic Defence and Security Review, their dependants, and the decision makers of government, MOD and world leaders) and worship was humbling.
It was also the best congregational hymn singing I’ve experienced since I left Wales 20 years ago!
My reflection on their lives, was that because of who they are, what they do, how and where they do it, I trust them, and I trust their testimony of God at work in in their lives. As I said in my sermon this morning:
Just like the padre who said love swims round in hope, so I believe I saw hope, swimming around in the TRUST that they place daily in God, through their love of Christ at work in the world and in the power of the Holy Spirit… Theirs were lives that noticeably gave God the glory.
(Sorry about the fonts folk… not sure why, but I’m too tired tonight to start again…)