Day 5 Keep Your Strength Up

  • Acts 27:33-36

“Just before daybreak, Paul urged all of them to take some food, saying, ‘Today is the fourteenth day that you have been in suspense and remaining without food, having eaten nothing. Therefore I urge you to take some food, for it will help you survive; for none of you will lose a hair from your heads.’ After he had said this, he took bread; and giving thanks to God in the presence of all, he broke it and began to eat. Then all of them were encouraged and took food for themselves.”

  • Psalm 77
  • Mark 6:30-44


‘You need to eat something, to keep your strength up’

Paul exhorts them, breaking bread giving thanks, leading the way.

His words of reassurance that not a hair would be lost in the depth of the storm may be a hollow resonance for some.

I love coffee but lost my appetite for it

I love a good read of the bulky weekend paper

but my brain had no space for it

too busy processing and preparing

harnessing the little energy reserves I had

to face cannulas and PICC lines

and nauseating chemo.

Every hair from my head would be lost

but I’d be rescued from the storm, hopefully.

And when you can’t eat

to keep your strength up

because the chemo makes you sick

on a Wednesday

you chew on the words

that those who wait upon the Lord

will renew their strength

they’ll rise up on wings like eagles

run and not grow weary

trusting that one day

this broken body

might rise again

strong and supple

scarred and scared.

Every hair of my head was lost

but I’d be rescued from the storm, hopefully.

And as I look back

these ten years hence

there wasn’t one set of footprints

there were hundreds

of the friends and loved ones

who visited, listened, cried,

prayed and carried

the body of Christ

strengthening me.

Every hair of my head was lost

but I was rescued from the storm, thankfully.


Loving God,

Your Son Jesus Christ broke bread

and shared the cup with His friends.

May we grow in closer communion

when we share our pain and suffering.

Encouraged by St Paul

and the early Christians,

give us strength to build bridges

of compassion, solidarity and harmony.

In the power of the Holy Spirit,

we ask this in the name of Your Son,

who gives His life that we might live. Amen.


  • How does the reflection above make you feel?
  • Have you had experiences of when          the promises of Scripture haven’t delivered as you’d expected?
  • When have you most felt the pain over disunity in the body of Christ?
  • How might sharing the body of Christ be a source of healing and unity between Christians?

Go and Do

(see www.ctbi.org.uk/goanddo)

Global: Work for the day when good healthcare is available for all.

Local: Hold a ‘bring and share’ meal together with the churches in your area where you have a conversation about what Eucharist/Communion/Lord’s Supper means to each church.

Personal: Visit, send a card or call someone who is currently unwell that you know.

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