This week, I have been away from the flurry of activity going on at the new building (which I am studiously refraining from calling St Mark’s in deference to its emerging new identity!) This is potentially one of the busiest weeks for ‘professional’ input since we began the renovation process, with new windows, blinds and a carpet being fitted in the main hall (after the floor there has been re-varnished!)
This week at work, life is decidedly calmer as the exams’ season has started and much of my time is spent in the silently peaceful haven of an exams’ room, where my job is invigilation, ‘watching over’ the candidates taking GCSE exams. The contrast between this calm silence and the buzz of activity at church is startling.
Jesus reminded his disciples to ‘watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation’ (Mark 14:28). Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us of different times for different activities. There are different seasons in our lives when we are able to do different things, yet for each one of us, the need to pray is paramount. Whether we are busy working or feel unable to do much, we can all pray for the ongoing work and ultimately for God’s kingdom to come in Goldthorpe.
In between all this, I have been involved in writing risk assessments, trying to document how all the work at the new building is carried out efficiently and safely. The Message version translates Mark 14:38 as ‘stay alert, be in prayer, so you don’t enter the danger zone without even knowing it.’ As I watch over candidates taking exams or endeavour to assess risk to ensure people’s safety at church, I am very aware that prayer is our best protection from whatever ‘danger zone’ or temptation we may face and that in Jesus, we have a great high priest who is, thankfully, interceding for us.