Sunday 17th May 2020
Our Bishops Visitor, Mrs Stothard, has selected some Bible stories which may give us hope (our current Christian Value) as we continue to stay safe at home, and these will be featured on this page over the next few weeks. All of the readings she has selected show times of trouble and hardship, but all of them had hope and faith in God and everything turned out well in the end, as it will soon for us.
Trust Forgiveness Peace Thankfulness Compassion Perseverance Friendship Love
Daniel in the Lions Den
Rogation Sunday 17th May 2020
Today is Rogation Sunday, it is the Sunday before Ascension Day. Rogation comes from the Latin word to ‘ask’. Rogation was originally taken from the old Graeco-Roman practise of invoking divine favour to protect crops from mildew; but it grew in significance and practise. By the 16th Century Rogation had become a way of asking for God’s blessing on the land, on agriculture and on boundaries. It was associated with encouraging fellowship between neighbours and reconciling differences.
And so today we find ourselves observing a festival with its origins in Graeco-Roman agriculture. But now we ask the risen Christ to intercede for us and bless the land.
The tradition of ‘beating the bounds’ grew and it is still preserved in some communities. Beating the bounds would include a procession around the parish boundary, blessing the land and would end with Mass. ‘Beating the bounds’ is rarely observed today. Even in rural parishes. Parishes are much bigger now; congregations are less likely to want to walk that far. But in this time of lockdown there is a longing for being able to step out once more, perhaps we enjoy our daily walks or form of exercise with more appreciation in Lockdown. Do we look forward to moments of fellowship with or neighbours?
Thursday evenings have become moments when we celebrate and it also gives us a glimpse of those around us, we can wave to our friends and neighbours from an appropriate social distance.
The spirit of Rogation is perhaps heightened this year. We can take moments of freedom and of nature that we took for granted for so long and give thanks. Give thanks for the world around us, for the land, for Gods creation and look upon it with fresh eyes.
Soon we will be celebrating Ascension Day, the moment when the risen Christ ascends into heaven to be with his Father. The days of Easter are now drawing to an end. We will have spent the season of Easter in lockdown. Christ now intercedes for us; it is his promise and our blessing.