Here is today’s Old Testament reading, from the Book of Numbers: ‘From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live’.

The hymn ‘Bread of Heaven’ concludes with these words: ‘To thy Cross we look and live. Thou our life! O let us be / rooted, grafted, built on thee’. In these days, as we gather up the suffering world and its needs in our prayer, especially Ukraine, may the Cross of Christ strengthen and lead us to peace. May God bless you this day.