Daily reflection for the Season of Lent

Thursday 18th March 2021

Spiritual common sense!

Recently there have been reports in the press about religious leaders warning people not to be vaccinated against Covid-19.  This affects all the mainstream faiths. Suggestions include the vaccination will make you gay or give you homosexual tendencies, it was a way of making Hindus ingest cows blood, vaccines are made from the cells of aborted foetuses and a way of allowing governments enslave their populations. My ‘favourite’ anti-vaccine argument comes from a group of fringe evangelical Christians in America. The vaccine contains the mark of the beast which mean the end times are upon us. (Should I have booked a two-week holiday in Cyprus next year?)

Bible Reading

Romans 12:1-2

A Living Sacrifice
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.


One of the important goals for any Christian is the intellectual and cognitive transformation that comes from the inner working of the Holy Spirit upon our thought processes. Here I am not talking about a stuffy faith that is overly intellectual. Far from it. Our faith in Jesus should encompass and flavour every aspect of our humanity.  Note Jesus words in Matthew 22: 37: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
Our intellectual pursuit of God is a requirement of Christian discipleship and essential for spiritual maturity. This includes the formation of spiritual common sense.! In other words, use the brain that God has given you! There is no excuse for naivety or intellectual laziness!  God’s wisdom can be found in the secular and the spiritual, in science and in faith.
So my advice is this – get vaccinated! Protect yourself and the people around you.


How shall we praise you, Lord, our God?
When we are locked down,
how shall we praise you?
When the doors to your house are barred,
and your people cannot assemble?
When those desperately in need of money and work
cannot even wait in the market-place?
When we have to circle round people in the street,
and to queue for shops maintaining safe distance?
When we can only communicate
by hearing on the phone,
or seeing on the screen;
or digitally messaging,
or even just waving through a window?
When we cannot meet our parents and children,
grandparents and grandchildren,
or other family members and friends?
When we cannot touch them in their flesh and blood,
to know they are really alive?
How shall we praise you?
How, like Thomas, shall we not see yet believe
that your son is raised among us?
How shall we praise you?
How can I praise you, Lord?
Are you plaguing us with this virus
to punish us because we have all done wrong,
or thought wrongly,
or felt wrongly,
or just been wrong?
If so, why do only some die,
and those, apparently, the ones who are the least worst or most caring amongst us?
Or are you trying to teach us a lesson?
If so, why is it so hard to learn?
And how are we to find the answer
when we do not even know the question?
Or are you still the same loving God,
coming to us in our sufferings
and opening up the way to new life in Jesus?
Lord, I will try to praise you.
Through gritted teeth,
I will try to praise you.
I will try to remember that you have created all things,
and this virus is part of your creation.
I will try not to hate it
but seek to mitigate its harm.
I will try to keep myself and others safe.
I will work to pray for them
and seek to help in whatever way I can.
Lord, when I cannot pray or worship
help me be aware of all your people
and your saints and angels
hovering around me,
lifting me up.
When I feel alone,
let me feel you near me,
even if only for a moment that enables me to go on.
Let me hear you say
“Peace be with you”.
Lord, I will praise you.
Let all the peoples praise you.

(Prayer by the Revd Kenneth Howcroft)


Go to celebrate the God who is our home forever.
God’s love goes with us!
Go to follow Christ’s example in loving God, self, and neighbor.
God’s love goes with us!
Go with the Holy Spirit to change the world with love.
God’s love goes with us!