Dear People of Alnwick,
Some of us are naturally ‚Äúmorning people‚ÄĚ ‚Äď happy to get up at the crack of dawn, or even earlier: others are less so!
Some people find mornings a real problem. For every one of us who greets the morning with a joyful ‚Äúhello‚ÄĚ there are many, many more who do so with a huge groan of dismay. The pressures and responsibilities of daily life can weigh so heavily upon people that they wake with a sense of foreboding rather than anticipation of what the day may hold in store for them.
Yet we must remember that every morning is a gift from God: full of immeasurable potential and untold possibilities ‚Äď but we do need eyes to see and ears to hear. The writer of the book of Lamentations puts it like this:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‚ÄėThe Lord is my portion,‚Äô says my soul, ‚Äėtherefore I will hope in him.‚Äô
Or, as John Keble wrote in his lovely morning hymn:
New every morning is the love
Our wakening and uprising prove;
Through sleep and darkness safely brought,
Restored to life, and power, and thought.
So, it would be good if, during this season of Lent, we could all make a real effort to welcome each day as a gift from God: perhaps we could all take a few seconds (that‚Äôs all!) when we wake to acknowledge God‚Äôs goodness and commit to him the day which lies ahead.
We could do a lot worse than to remind ourselves of all the possibilities each day brings: the innumerable opportunities for love, joy, fascination and fulfilment that every one opens up. And, as we consecrate each day to God‚Äôs service, it is also an opportunity to thank him for all the blessings of life.
The aim of every Christian during Lent should be to do all they can to grow in grace and holiness. As we are reminded of Jesus‚Äô suffering, passion and death over the coming weeks, to do so with a sense of thanksgiving for each day as it comes will add a new dimension and a richer quality to our understanding.
Perhaps you may find the prayer of St. Richard of Chichester worthy of commitment to memory as you give thanks for every new day:
Praise to thee, Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits thou hast won for me, for all the pains and insults thou hast borne for me. Most merciful redeemer, friend and brother, may I know thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, and follow thee more nearly, day by day.
May each new day draw you closer to Christ.
With every blessing,