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A spiritual comment and prayer to begin the day with the Bishop of Ripon, Rt Rev Dr Helen-Ann Hartley.

A spiritual comment and prayer to begin the day with the Bishop of Ripon, Rt Rev Dr Helen-Ann Hartley

Good morning.

On this day nearly three and a half thousand years ago the battle of Megiddo took place between the Egyptian forces of Thutmose III and a Canaanite coalition under the King of Kadesh. It is the first battle said to have been recorded by a reliable account. The annals of Thutmose III (who was the victor) describe the day to day events of the battle in considerable detail.

More recently, nearly twenty five years ago I took part in an archaeological dig at Megiddo. As a young graduate student I was under the somewhat romantic impression that archaeology was all about fame and fortune, and the great treasures that were revealed in dramatic Hollywood films. / In the relatively tiny area that I was assigned to, I spent days in the intense morning heat painstakingly scraping away layers of dust with a tiny trowel. the area I was digging in was meant to be a domestic dwelling of some sort. I didn’t find anything shiny; what I did discover was a lot of rubbish: bits of food wrappers and photographic paper from more recent history of that place. What a disappointment. Or, maybe not?

In the process of removing bits of dirt, stones and dust, sifting soil and shifting wheel-barrows, I became aware of the complexity of historical narratives: they just aren’t neat and tidy and they aren’t all about the high points and the achievements. Much of it is just boring and incidental, yet all of it makes up the richness of life.

God who formed us out of dust and gives breath to our lungs, fill us this day with appreciation for the boring and the mundane. Help us to see treasure in unexpected places. Amen.

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Tue 16 Apr 2019 05:43