Priest's Blog ~ May 2021
ASK: The Fifth Sunday of Easter - ‘I am the true vine’.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower” (John.15:1)
friends old and new, it is unnerving to read that God was willing to cut down anything in Jesus’ ministry that didn’t ‘bear fruit’, what does that mean for us? In John’s gospel Jesus is not giving gardening tips, he was and is, making a call to action. What we do for him will be fruitful, and what we do in and for our self will wither away and come to nothing. We are commanded to ‘love one another as I have loved you’. All that we do has to be rooted in sharing God’s love for his Son and for us who love him. That is exactly what we began at the beginning of the pandemic in ASK, Action - Supplication - Kindness. We were to do what we could to help our neighbour, to pray for them, and to be kind to others and be kind to ourselves. Looking back over the past year I believe we have made a pretty good job in delivering on Gordon’s vision of what St Mary Magdalene's church can and will do.
Now we look forward to a new vision as The Reverend Dr and Mrs James Lawson take up the reigns in our community. From my own experience of being welcomed and loved in this place, I know they will be too.
Dear friends continue to love and care for our neighbour and each other. Keep to the rules, stay safe and keep well, the work begins now.
ASK: The Sixth Sunday of Easter – “Love one another as I have loved you”.
“Love one another as I have loved you”
friends old and new, at the beginning of our battle with the new corona virus, COVID, we were horrified when it was predicted that 20,000 people would lose their life. I remember saying then that I thought it would be nearer to 60,000. This week the number is closer to 128,000, so many lives that had purpose and meaning and were loved. We are told that without the measures taken before the vaccine was released, many more would have died. So then, what have we done to love our neighbour and save lives? We have dealt with isolation, donations of food have been delivered, we have worn masks, even stepping into the road to allow others to pass, we have given to charity in the millions, washed and sanitised our hands, we have loved the frontline workers. All those new ways of living are the ways we have been demonstrating love for one another. My prayer is that when the brakes come off, we will remember all those millions across the world who have died and keep on loving “as I have loved you”. There is the danger that we will suffer a deep and real weariness and forget.
“If you love me, keep my commandments”.
Dear friends, rejoice in the positives, keep safe and well. Tomorrow will be a better day.
ASK: The Seventh Sunday of Easter.
“As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them...”
friends old and new, we would usually have marked the Lord’s Ascension on Thursday but we are not quite yet in usual times. You may have heard that our Cathedral, St Paul’s, may have to close it’s doors due to the financial melt down caused by the pandemic. Please pray for all who work there both clergy and lay. As for us, we wait with the disciples for the Holy Spirit to descend and inspire us to fulfil his work of telling the world the ‘GOOD NEWS’. Jesus has gone to be with the Father and will send us an Advocate and Comforter.
May we all be encouraged by the easing of the rules that have kept us safe during the covid crisis, and as we are sent out into the world again be mindful of those who are still vulnerable.
Stay safe dear friends and keep well.
“They are all drunk”
friends old and new, today we celebrate the worldwide church's birthday.
A few days ago our Jewish brothers and sisters were supposed to be celebrating The Festival of Weeks but were instead fighting with, yet again, the Palestinian people living in Jerusalem and Gaza. That animosity spilled over into every community where Jews and Arabs live in close proximity. How our Lord God must grieve! Joel prophesied a time when there would be no barriers to his love, there would be parity and unity among all people. As I write this message to you we hear that a cease fire has been negotiated, we pray that it will hold and be an opportunity for a lasting peace to be made real.
We pray for that day when the Holy Spirit moves each and every heart to work for peace in the world and share God's love with all.
Happy Birthday, have a great day dear friends. Stay safe and keep well.
ASK: Trinity Sunday.
friends old and new, I really can't believe that it is a whole year since Gordon moved to Rochester. As he went he left us a gift that we have used every week since. That gift, of course, is this, our online service and our ASK, action, supplication and kindness. I hope Gordon knows that it was the tool that has kept our community together, growing and loving, ready to greet our new vicar, and excited to walk together learning more about God. May the Holy Spirit continue to engage, enlighten and inspire us as we journey with our new leader James. Welcome to him and to Nana, we are ready for our adventure.