Weekly Reflection - 'He's got the whole world in his hands'

20 August 2021

I’m sure many of you, like me, sang this at school growing up.. and may have even sung it many times since. This week, Gaia, the model planet earth created by artist Luke Jerram hangs in all its glory in the west of Wakefield Cathedral. Its breathtaking beauty inspires awe and wonder at the home which we inhabit (planet earth) but also draws people to the heart and home of the city in which we live, the Cathedral itself.

Over the last 5 years I have been a part of this church, community, city and district and amidst the joys and sorrows I have seen and accompanied I have come to notice God, whose hands stretch out to embrace his people, at work. Wakefield has been a wonderful place to live and work, to raise a family and to relax and play. At the core of my own role and responsibility is the worship of God, through the organisation of daily and weekly services as well as those annual and occasional civic, school and personal events, which the cathedral is privileged to host. Together we have lamented the Holocaust and the loss of loved ones. Together we have marked the passage of time in birthdays and anniversaries, such as the 100th anniversary of World War I, commemorating Wakefield nurse Nellie Spindler and anniversary of the creation of the city in 1888 when All Saints’ Church became Wakefield Cathedral. Together we have given thanks for education (so very many school services!), for talent, for the arts, and we have partied in the nave a few times (I never imagined I would or could cook and serve neeps and tatties with haggis for over 100 people!). However, it’s not the events or the services that have inspired my own prayers and praises. It has without doubt been God’s creation that inspires me most: the places and people. There are too many people to thank individually here, but I am thankful to you for your support and challenge, friendship and trust in these 5 years. Perhaps more importantly, I will continue to thank God for each and every one of you. You know who you are.

As I prepare for my last Sunday as your Canon Precentor this week before we move to the other side of the Pennines, I am thankful that God has indeed got the whole world in his hands. Not just for me, but also for you.

As you look up at this glorious exhibition over the coming days, may you be inspired to see God at work (the God who stretches out his arms in love) in the world, in the city, in the cathedral church of All Saints’ Wakefield and in one another.

With love and continuing prayers,
Canon Leah

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