Letter from the Vicar

From the Vicar…
My dearest brothers and sisters,
When we hear the Blessings and Woes from Luke’s Gospel, we are shown what God
values and what the world values. It strikes me these are polar opposites.
Blessed are you who are poor, hungry, weeping, who are hated for following Christ.
These are not things the world values in any way. To be poor is to be regarded as
somehow less, either being born into the wrong family, or being lazy. To be hungry
is in a similar zone. It is a result of being poor, or of choosing the wrong food. To be
weeping is to be seen as weak and not coping with reality.
To be a follower of Christ is not something our world particularly likes. The days of
Christians being respected leaders have long gone. To admit you are a follower of
Jesus is to some akin to saying you are weak.
But what the world sees as good and right, Jesus views differently. Woe to you who
are rich, full, laughing, who are well-liked. These are qualities our world truly loves.
The rich are feted and respected. They are given positions of power, their views are
asked for. They are seen as pillars of society. To be full is completely taken for
granted. Food is seen as not a way of nourishment, but as entertainment and an
activity. We have such an abundance of food in the western world that our
problem is not being fed, but rather knowing the right things to eat. To be laughing,
to be entertained, is also taken for granted. The idea of silence, introspection and
being in touch with deeper emotions, or having a spiritual connection with God, is
viewed with suspicion. To be well-liked seems to be the sole aim of much of our
society. There is an economy of likes, shares, and hashtags that all revolve around
people being seen as influencers and worthy of following and imitating.
Jesus’ words here were a harsh critique on society then, and they may be even
harsher for us today. Jesus is reminding us to keep our eyes, minds and hearts on
things eternal, and not to be seduced by the glittering ways of the temporal.
Peace be with you all.

Notices

Parish Notices

  • Bible Study Group meets tomorrow, 7:15 pm in the parish lounge.
    Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
  • Women’s Fellowship: first meeting for 2019 Tuesday,10:30 am in the lounge.
  • Jenny Muir, Co-ordinator for Walsh House, will speak about developments there. All welcome. Details Pat Evans (358 0127)
  • Organ Recital: Graham Hollobon. Tuesday, 2:00 pm at S. Michael’s.
  • Memorial Service for Robert Sisson-Stretch Wednesday 10:30 am, Nazareth House.
  • Angelology Group meets Thursdays, 10:30 am in the Lady Chapel.
  • Earthquake Anniversary: Civic Service Friday 12:30 pm at the Memorial Wall. S. Michael’s will be open for visitors on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you can be here to assist for a few hours, please contact Bridie or Alastair Scott (343 5153).
  • Come n’ Be Retreats: Revd Jan Brodie, 22–24 February, CSN Retreat House. Details janbolderobrodie@gmail.com or 0273552181.
  • Helping Another Parish: the Anglican Centre Staff are holding a Car Boot Sale to help the parish of Hornby, Templeton and West Melton. Come along to S. James’ Church, Harewood, on Saturday and support this effort. Details on poster.
  • World Day of Prayer Service will be on 1 March.
  • Book Swap: in the parish lounge. Koha to parish.
  • Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.