I’m not a person who likes to take risks, I like to know where I am and what is going to happen. I like to be in control. In contrast, the people in today’s Gospel reading took risks, huge risks. When I hear today’s parables I always wonder what would have happened if someone else had bought the field or the pearl before the men had managed to sell all their possessions so they had the money they needed. But that’s not the point of the story. The people risked everything because they had found something that was worth risking everything for. And so I wonder what I would risk everything for. And I’m immediately caught up with all the things that tie me, and all of us, down. What I do affects my family. I can’t take a huge risk by myself
because what I do affects other people. And so I breathe a sigh of relief. I’m let off the hook. And it’s the same for all of us. If we’re responsible, we can’t go off by ourselves and risk everything—whether it’s financial risk, or travelling to dangerous places or something more mundane.
But our life as Christians always involves risk. Maybe not the sell everything sort of risk, but when we follow Christ we don’t know what we’re going to be led into. Even on good days I shudder to think what sort of an image of Christ I project to others. It’s hard to talk about our faith to others, but sometimes I do and if I’ve chosen the moment appropriately, the conversation is usually worthwhile. But there are no guarantees and the other person may decide that I am decidedly strange! As a church community we’re also called to take risks. Every time we offer a service we take a risk—will people come? Will they see what we offer as relevant?
For us, calling a new vicar is also a risk—it’s not a risk we can avoid, we need a vicar! But again there are no guarantees. As with most things, as we take small risks, we are able to take bigger ones. We learn that we can trust. We can trust God to continue to hold us and guide us, as individuals and as a faith community. We can step out in faith, like the people in the parables, and take bigger risks because we are not taking these risks alone. God is with us and what we do helps to advance the Kingdom. And that’s something that’s very important and something we will need to remember over the rest of this year.
- Bible Study Group meets tomorrow, 7:15 pm in the school staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
- Needlework Group meets on Tuesday, 7:00 pm at Jill Woodside’s home.New members welcome. Details Jill (338 9590).
- Meditation Group: Wednesdays 12:00–12:30 pm in the Pilgrims’ Chapel. Details Margaret Maclagan (359 921).
- Parish Trust meets Wednesday at 5:15 pm.
- Need not Greed—Money Matters: Warren Brewer. Thursday 5:30 pm at the Knox Centre. Koha. Details 358 4505.
- Canterbury Shakespeare Society: Thursday 7:30 pm in the parish lounge.
- Lunch at Regatta on Avon: next Sunday 12:15 pm. Details from Alice.
- Communion at Three: next Sunday. All welcome.
- The following decisions were made at Vestry last Tuesday:
-Supermarket trolleys and the like are not permitted in the church, lounge, school or hall due to possible damage and health and safety issues. S. Michael’s is a heritage-listed building; The kitchens are not to be used by any unauthorised person without supervision.
- Liturgy, spirituality, and worship: the ecumenical website run by Bosco Peters contains valuable resources and reflections. Check liturgy.co.nz/john-de-la-bere-rip for an article of special interest to parishioners.
- Fundraiser: jars of marmalade and lemon curd are available in the parish lounge.
- Book Swap: on bookshelves in the lounge. Koha to parish.
- Recycling Electronic Equipment: please put unwanted phones etc in the box at the back of the church or take to the parish office. Details Jenny Daniels (347 7629).
- Inasmuch basket: please continue to support