Saturday after Ash Wednesday

by Audrey Bird

Psalm 86:1-11
Isaiah 58:9b-14
Luke 5:27-32

MY WORK REQUIRES ME to travel frequently to many different countries, so I often find myself in foreign places on Sundays — sometimes not in Christian countries. Last December in Moslem Kuala Lumpur, I saw all kinds of Christmas decorations and heard Christmas songs and carols everywhere.

Consequently, this has given me the opportunity to worship in many different churches around the world. Some experiences are very special, such as the opportunity to attend services at St. Margaret’s in London where Ascension’s friend Canon Gray is the rector, and I was allowed to go “behind the scenes” at Westminster Abbey after the service.

Some experiences are memorable as when, on a Sunday in Prague when the temperature was below freezing, I attended the 11 A.M. service at the unheated Anglican church and only removed my gloves to receive the Eucharist.

I miss not being able to attend services at Ascension more often. But I have come to the realization that, no matter where in the world I am, I am never alone. God is always with me. He is my protector and my companion. He is giving me the opportunity to worship him at many different churches, in many different countries, and have some very special experiences.

Today’s psalm says it better than I can: “I give thanks to thee, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify thy name forever.”