Mothers’ Union Devotion Wednesday 28th April 2021

So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia; and from

there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. Acts 13. 4-5

The Bible is the Living Word of God and no matter how many times we read it different things strike us at different times. In the passage from the Acts of the Apostles set for today we hear about several journeys. A return trip to Jerusalem. A church gathering in Antioch. An outward trip to Cyprus via Seleucia. Usually, we read it imagining the difficulties of travel before the invention of the internal combustion engine. A world without cars, busses and aeroplanes. A world of bandits, shipwrecks and persecution. But this time what strikes me is the completely different difficulties in travelling that we have been subject to for the past year.

A journey to Cyprus was a routine summer holiday for many millions of people just a few years ago. Now such a journey seems a major challenge. A distant dream without a specific time frame. Foreign travel even when restrictions are fully lifted, will be a changed experience. We will always be conscious of the crowds, the closeness of people on a plane, the ability of a localised infection to become a global pandemic. It may not stop us travelling but it will affect the way we approach the journey.

Even trips much closer to home have the potential to play on our minds. Worrying about the safety measures put in place at our destinations or by the operators of the public transport we need to use. In the reading from Acts before the journey to Cyprus we hear:

While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. Acts 13.2-3

Barnabas and Saul were not only accompanied on their journey by the Holy Spirit, but they were sent out only after a time of worship and prayer. So, if we find ourselves worried by the prospect of venturing further afield than we have done for months, we can share our concerns with our loving Lord. Asking for an awareness of his presence with us. A presence which will bring us calm and reassurance as we step out into the wider world again.

With all my love and prayers

Revd Sandra