This weekend is Saturday the 4th and Sunday the 5th of May, beginning the Third Week of Easter.

The King’s Singers sing Spem in Alium by Thomas Tallis. ‘I have never put my hope in any other but in you’.  As I begin this time of prayer today, can I speak those words to God? Can I place all my hope, all my trust, all my faith in him? 

The readings this week have included reminders of God’s great love for the world. The love God showed in creating the world and all it contains. The love God showed in sending Jesus to mend our broken relationships. We were also reminded that this love hopes for a response. That might involve, in the words Jesus uses, taking up your cross each day. Or committing yourself to the difficult task of building up a loving community. When the apostles began to live in this way, they encountered both support and opposition. In today’s reading from the First Letter of Peter, the Apostle insists that it is our trust in God, and not the reactions of other people, that is important. Listen now, as he spells out what it means to call upon God as Father.

Peter uses the strong image of “exile” for those who try to follow God faithfully here and now. Somehow, if you try to live as Christ lived, you won’t always feel at home among your friends and neighbours. Can you recall times when that has been true in your own life?

Yet Peter is sure that trying to live in any other way is ultimately futile. He knew from his own experience what it was like to deny Christ. Again, is there anything in your own life-story that corresponds to that?

Peter describes those who hear his words as people who “trust in God”. This clearly means more than believing in a set of abstract teachings. What would you point to in your own life, if you were challenged to demonstrate your trust in God?

As you listen to the passage again, notice for how long and how intensively God has been planning to lead you to trust in him.

In the last few moments of this prayer, speak to God about your own faith and hope. You might like to thank God where these are strong. Or ask for them to grow where they are weak.