Church is quiet.
The are perhaps thirty people asleep, resting after worshipping from the early hours until dawn. The gathered community of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians are attentive in prayer and the tradition that brings them together. There is something quite earnest about their determination to continue this festival based around the ‘Assumption, even when they are dispersed and far from their homeland. I am humbled by their offering of such a great expanse of time set aside for prayer.
My friends in the Moslem community begin life today outside the commitment to Ramadan. The nurse in the Blood Donors centre in Bradford yesterday was having the afternoon off, as he and his family were preparing for Eid. Ramadan is based in prayer as well as fasting, of giving from what a Moslem has, as well as curbing bodily needs. From dawn til dusk, an act of will turned toward God. Life focus on the divine – prayer indeed.
I enter St. Peter’s this morning for my daily office and the sacred space is quiet with holy sleep. It is strange but my usual half an hour of morning prayer, with readings and intercessions seems sluggish and unfulfilling. Alongside the time and effort of the two groups described above, my offering seems weak, ineffectual and sparse.
Perhaps I need to recognise my marathon over the years and content myself in offering what seems at this time to be a ‘Widow’s Mite’.