The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, is sharing short reflections throughout January 2021 on the theme, ‘Our Hope is Found’ as the country continues to combat the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic. His reflections will include a prayer or a poem, and the first of this nine-part series can be watched below:
Archbishop Stephen said, “2020 has been an incredibly hard year for everyone, and it is going to be a long time before we begin to feel some semblance of normality return. We all need hope, and I believe that our hope is found in the person of Jesus Christ. Knowing God through him brings life, peace, and hope that no matter what happens he is with us. As people listen to the reflections I pray they can see that as we trust in God and seek to follow him, we can have a peace which is beyond our understanding and a hope that is sure and steadfast for what is to come.”
In his first reflection, the Archbishop considers the story in the Old Testament of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who refused to worship the king’s golden idol. They continued to hold on to what they thought was right, putting their hope and trust in God, whether or not he rescued them from the fiery furnace into which they were to be thrown. Archbishop Stephen likens this to where we are today. We can trust in God whether times are good or bad. After reading some verses of the poem ‘Powers of Good’, written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer in the new year of 1945, the Archbishop prays that the light of Christ may shine in our darkness. He then encourages everyone to send their prayer into Bishopthorpe Palace.
The Revd Hannah Madin, who works as a Pioneer Minister in Scarborough said, “Taking time to pray with or for someone is such a joy and a privilege. Knowing that God cares for us is both humbling and uplifting. I have seen what a difference prayer can make. At the start of this new year, it’s good to be reminded of the power and importance of prayer.”
Alongside the reflections, the Archbishop is encouraging anyone who wishes a prayer to be said for themselves or others, to send this in to Bishopthorpe Palace, where he will pray with support from The Order of the Holy Paraclete at Whitby.
If you would like to write your request for prayer, please post to: Prayers, Office of the Archbishop of York, Bishopthorpe Palace, Bishopthorpe, York YO23 2GE.
Please be aware that names may be shared with the Sisters of the Order of the Holy Paraclete in Whitby and that personal responses may not be possible.
Watch all the reflections here
Other prayer requests can be submitted anytime here