Wellbeing Sunday


Sunday Reflection


17th January 2021

and don't we need it!?

our Bishop of Peterborough,
has decreed this Sunday as
'Wellbeing Sunday' -
and don't we need it!?

We are still in the midst
of a major Corona crisis,
one that is causing some
devastation, and our heads
are filled with worry and fear,
for ourselves and those we love.

At a time like this,
I think the place to find
comfort and hope is
to turn is to the Psalms.

The Psalm for today, 139,
does not start by saying:
Everything is going to be OK.

It does not start by telling us
how to behave.
It starts with God.

1 You have searched me, Lord,
   and you know me.
5 You hem me in
   behind and before,
   and you lay your hand
   upon me.'

....Psalm 139

Whether we turn our attention
to God or not,
he is with us in all this.

It's not escapism,
it's not forgetting
about our problems,
it's about putting them
in the right context.

We turn our attention
to God and God's world.

God's complete attention is
on everything he has made.
If you were in the park you might
look at a leaf or a cloud;
instead, be aware of the ground
beneath your feet.

Indoors, the wooden flooring,
the floorboards beneath,
the Victorian foundations,
the rock stretching
down for miles.
All that is holding us
where we stand.

His complete attention is on
every bit of it.
He is in it all.
The psalmist
recognises this and says;

8 If I go up to the heavens,
   you are there;
   if I make my bed in the depths,
   you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
   if I settle on the
   far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand
   will guide me,
   your right hand
   will hold me fast.

....Psalm 139

God's perspective,
to the extent that we can
even begin to imagine it,
is very different from ours.

He is our rock,
he holds us in his hands,
along with much, much more.

Maybe the thoughts that
buzz around our head
so busily start to sound
quieter when we see them
in this context.

Gratitude is so vital
to our wellbeing.
One research study after another
has found that regularly expressing
thanks makes us happier,
less depressed and less stressed,
makes our lives better in
dozens of different ways.

If we give thanks to God
for the man / woman in our life,
for the child,
for the event that went well,
for the circumstance that
brought us joy,
for the thing that we rely on
it is not escapism
from our problems,
it's not looking on
the bright side and
forcing ourselves
to be cheerful.

Giving thanks is stepping away
from the worries,
and focussing, for a bit,
on our blessings, in a way
that can transform how
we see our lives,
and how we feel about
them and how we live them.

It counteracts our tendency to
focus on our anxieties;
for which we can give thanks.

God loves us,
cares for us, tends us,
values us, and brings good
out of bad circumstances.

He does not save us from all troubles,
but he does lead us through them.
Sometime he stills the storm;
at others he lets the storms rage,
and stills us.

The Christian writer, CS Lewis,
was asked in 1948:
'How are we to live in the age
of the atomic bomb?'
He replied.

'If we are all going to be
destroyed by an atomic bomb,
let that bomb, when it comes,
find us doing sensible
and human things - praying,
working, teaching, reading,
listening to music,
bathing the children,
playing tennis,
chatting to our friends
over a pint
and a game of darts -
not huddled together like
frightened sheep
and thinking about bombs.'

Of course, there are ways in which
we have to change our behaviour
in order to protect
ourselves and others.

But for as long as life goes on,
let us live generously,
and kindly, and well,
knowing that our lives
are in God, forever.

We do not know what tomorrow
may bring;
but times like this remind us
that we never know
what tomorrow will bring.

Jesus reminds us that we
don't make tomorrow better
by spending today fretting
and panicking.

We make tomorrow better by
spending today thinking of others,
helping out those who need it,
turning our attention to God,
reflecting on all we have to be thankful for.

Leaving in God's hands
the things that we do not control,
and in all the things that we
do control carrying on,
as Jesus taught us,
in hope and prayer and love.

It may be interesting to watch,
or just listen to a song
'In Christ alone '
sung on
YouTube with lyrics
via the link shown below.