Pray… in all circumstances
So says Scripture (I Thessalonians 5 : 17-18), and I had a surprisingly moving experience of this a few days ago. With some others I went to Loughborough to see the casting of two of the bells for the new ring at the Minster. After an excellent and informative tour around the foundry and museum, we came to the gallery overlooking the furnace. At this point our guide asked if the Vicar of Cheltenham was there. I owned up and was duly invited on to the foundry floor to pray just as the molten metal was poised for pouring into the moulds for our bells. The place fell silent; the foundry workers removed their protective headgear and bowed their heads and I prayed – something about the praise of Jesus ringing out in our town. It was a moment of unexpected grace, a deep sense of God’s presence on a foundry floor, a blessing to all of us there.
Look carefully at the photo and you will see it is full of symbolism worth pondering – the fiery furnace (I Corinthians 3:13 and many other references), the chorus ‘Spirit of the living God’ – take me, melt me, mould me, fill me. Then there is the thought of the bells calling to worship, sounding out praise and invitation…
Let’s just be alert for moments of unexpected grace and grateful when they come.