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Chaplaincy, Faith and Prayer in Frustrating Times

Posted by admin at 6:07 PM on Jan 18, 2021

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Chaplaincy, Faith and Prayer in Frustrating Times

Worldwide concerns for people’s well-being - physical, mental, and economic – are unprecedented in living memory. Each of us will be anxious for those whom we love or for ourselves. We miss daily interactions and conversations with people, especially where they offer a listening ear or an encouraging word.

This is the essence of the church’s ministry of chaplaincy, but at a time when it would be especially helpful, most of its expressions have necessarily been curtailed. Many chaplains will have a sense of frustration that lockdowns prevent those face-to-face contacts which make this ministry so valuable.

Chaplains visit workplaces and other settings as disciples of Christ. Discipleship involves being shaped by a faith that He died and rose again, opening a way for humanity and the whole created order to be reconciled to God (Colossians 1: 15-20). The events of the first Easter are the focus of our scriptures, which stretch from creation to the eventual renewal and restoration of all things.

God placed humanity, made in His image, in His good creation and gave them work to do. Chaplains affirm the God given worth of both worker and work. A faith in God brings with it us some idea of His purposes, why He made us and where creation will end up, when He makes all things new. Chaplains will recognise the many ways in which things, as they are now, fall far short of what God intends.

We all wait for an end to the restrictions on our lives, for a time when normal interaction is possible once again. This waiting and frustration can be expressed in prayer. It is about holding together the world we see from day to day with a vision of what God is bringing into being, longing to see transformation in lives and situations.

And God’s to all Christians, including chaplains, when the world gets back to normal, is to be part of that transformation.