PRAYER for the Day
I first read a book called “ 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” some 20 years ago. I vividly recall the way the author invited me to pause and visualize my own funeral. He invites the reader to imagine people representing family, friends, work and church or community life. What would we like each of these speakers to say about us, now we are gone? It’s a challenging exercise, and one we might prefer to avoid. Many of us find it hard to slow down enough to think deeply about things that really matter.
For many, this Christian season of Lent includes a period of reflection and engagement with spiritual disciplines such as prayer, fasting and solitude. In my home town of Manchester an Art Trail based on the Passion of Jesus, is offering moments to pause in the heart of a busy City. The central theme is Be Still.
One installation by the artist Julian Stair captured my attention. It is entitled “Quietus Revisited.” A short film shows a precious moment in a man’s life. He looks into the camera and smiles. Nearby is a small white clay box formed from the ashes of the man in the film. Life and Death in such close proximity.
Lord God. Thank you that the heart of the Christian message is that Life emerges from an encounter with Death. That is the miracle of Easter. Amen
Shirley Jenner is a Lecturer at the University of Manchester.