Prayer for the Day Script - 12th November 2018
For almost a century the boys grammar school in which I used to teach has run a debating society. Its immaculate minute books are a treasure trove of the inspired and ill-conceived pronouncements and pontifications of the school’s young orators.
80 years ago, on the brink of World War 2, the house debated whether life was worth living. One of the main speakers was Frank Gault - a popular student, known for his loyalty, decency and skill on the rugby pitch.
Frank’s speech was based on the premise that it is our own fault if we don’t enjoy life – that happiness is found in service, because it is a pleasure to help others and do our duty to mankind. The house was persuaded by his positive outlook, and Frank won the debate.
But tragedy was ahead. Three years after his life-affirming speech, he was serving as an RAF pilot on convoy protection duty, when his plane crashed not far from Belfast. His 20 year old life was over.
His headmaster wrote in an obituary that “If ever a boy had in his soul “the Grace of God” it was he… he has given up his splendid young life for us, for his country and for the good causes in which he believed.”
Life may be short or long, but let’s make today worth living
Lord, you did not spare your own Son from a death which would offer fullness of life to a corrupt and dying human race. When we are troubled or depressed, remind us that our existence is not without purpose. Fill us with your grace today, so that we can act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.