Thought for the Month June 2023, by Deacon Pru Cahill

Being Thankful

I have recently been re-reading the Biblical book of Jonah and spending time over each part of story. The story of Jonah is well-known, especially the end of chapter one when he is swallowed by a great fish after a storm at sea. We might imagine that this is a perilous experience from which recovery is unlikely, but on hearing God’s voice the fish vomits Jonah unscathed onto the beach – and the story continues.

Whilst in the belly of the fish Jonah prays a prayer of thankfulness that God has rescued him from the turbulent waters.  This beautifully-written prayer intrigues me as I’m not sure my first inclination in such a situation would be to thankfulness! The faith of Jonah is notable given that he doesn’t know for sure what would happen next. But, there is some merit in being thankful for situations which are a work in progress, not-yet complete. You may be able to think of your own examples.

I am about to move on from Manchester to a new post in Lancashire.  Whilst thinking ahead to the move, I’m also looking back on my time in the Manchester Circuit and taking inspiration from Jonah to be thankful.  Firstly for the people I have had the joy of meeting, at the Centre, as a result of reBoot and around the Manchester Circuit. There have been some unexpected moments like the opportunity to volunteer at the Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2019 and at some of the Covid-19 vaccination centres in 2021: all lovely opportunities to meet new people and hear their stories too.

St Paul in his letter to the Philippians says,  I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you,  because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now.

I echo these words and thank you for your friendship during my time in Manchester.

God Bless, Pru.