Today is Friday 25th of July, The Feast of St James the Apostle.

The monks of the Abbey of Keur Moussa sing the Te Deum: ‘We praise you, O God, we acknowledge you to be the Lord.’ As I enter into prayer now, can I begin by acknowledging the Lord? - by recog­nising the greatness of the One, True, Eternal God, the Holy One in whose presence I stand, right now?

Today’s reading is from Paul’s Second letter to the Corinthians.

“We have this treasure in clay jars” – it’s a famous phrase of St Paul’s, saying something perhaps about the inescapability of human weakness, and yet, at the same time, the extraordinary power of God which, working in us, can do “infinitely more than we can ask or imagine”.   Can you recall a time when you came up against the limits of human weakness, when you were suddenly very aware of your own limitations?  What did that feel like?

And can you remember a time when you were aware of a power greater than yourself – God’s power – working in you and enabling you to do or to be things you never thought you could do or be?

The word ‘death’ comes up quite a bit in this reading, but as you hear it again, notice how it is mentioned, what is said about it, how even death carries with it the promise of the presence of Jesus.

For Paul, once we have a sense of what is really important in our lives, nothing else matters. What would you like to say to God now about what is really important to you?