Saturday, 14 March 2009

Filey Parish:Blogging for Lent . Wandering from Danger


Living here on the North Yorkshire coast, I am a mile from the site of a Roman Signal Station. Yes , most of it has fallen into the sea, but splendid stones were recovered. In 1993-4 English Heritage funded excavations, and new light was shed on a little known period of Romano-British History. Malton Museum has had a makeover since my last visit, and is a gem of a place for those who enjoy learning about local history. The site of the roman fort at Malton, Derventio with its elevated site north of the river Derwent makes for a pleasant stroll, or a place to let school parties run after their picnic lunch. It doesnt evoke a sense of place, of industry and order, efficiency and bustle that would have characterised it in the 4th Century AD. It has like the stones from the Filey Signal Station in Crescent Gardens ,Filey, only a benign presence.
When St Paul was imprisoned in Rome, he would have been guarded by Roman Soldiers. He would have looked at their armour and used it to illustrate his aide-memoire for prayer.
I use this every day. It is supposed to be my first thoughts for the day. My mind wanders. Sometimes I have not finished putting on the whole armour of God until lunchtime. Unlike the Roman soldiers, I lack the discipline. I read Ruth Gledhill's (Times online) balanced take on the furore of the soon to be Bishop of Michigan. I think I too might benefit from the techniques of Zen meditation. Maybe then my early morning prayer will have prepared me for the whole day with the whole armour.
Here it is then. It comes from Ephesians 6. I use it every day. Firstly in my mind I place around my waist a belt, Belt of Truth. I pray that this truth keeps all my faith in place. Then comes the Breastplate of righteousness, not mine but that of Christ ,my life is safe. The Helmet of Salvation is next. I pray that I will not be moved by error of doctrine or discouragement. Then I mentally put on the Sandals of readiness to share the Truth, praying that I will take the Peace of the Gospel wherever I go in my day. My Shield of Faith is leather and soaked in water to quench the persistant attacks from the Devil. The Sword of the Spirit is a potent weapon. enabling me to use words from the Bible against attacks and opposition, just as Jesus did in the Wilderness .
So every day I use that picture of the Roman soldier to remind me of the prayer to start my day. I wander through it sometimes, oftimes, but I am standing firm. most-times. The battle is already won.

No comments:

Post a Comment

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...