Here are reflections offered by the Rector (in reverse chronological order)
The ‘parables of the Kingdom’ in our Gospel give us a timely reminder that the initiative is God’s, and the action is God’s. The first two – the mustard seed and the yeast – point to a persistent weed and an irrepressible fungus which simply get on and grow, whether you want them to or not. Nothing could stop God sending Jesus to live amongst us; nothing could stop the growth of Christian faith, and nothing will deter God’s action in the future, though it may take forms that are surprising and unexpected to us.
The second two parables – about selling everything for the treasure and the pearl – describe the kind of action God takes. Jesus prized humanity, however ‘feeble’ our frame (as the hymn puts it), and gave everything he had for us. The word used in today’s gospel for ‘bought’ means ‘redeemed’; we were redeemed for the price of Jesus’ life, because he counted us – even us – to be a treasure and a pearl of great price. God’s kingdom comes at a price that love is willing to pay.
In the face of such dedicated, persistent love and purpose, our own home-grown ideas and plans of how to ‘bring about the Kingdom of God on earth’ are misplaced. Solomon got it right when he did not ask for what he thought would be most useful, but simply for wisdom to know God’s will for his people. The Kingdom of justice, compassion, and peace will be God’s gift to us, not our own achievement.
May we commit ourselves to follow God’s lead, wherever it might take us and whatever it might cost.
Reflection for Pentecost 7 19 July 2020 Romans 8:14-25 and Matthew 13:24-30
Jesus tells a parable of a farmer who sowed good seed in his field and then found weeds growing up amongst them, sown by an enemy. He was faced with a real dilemma: remove the weeds and risk damaging the good seed, or let them grow together and risk damaging the crop? There are many times in our lives when we may be faced with choices to which there is no clear and easy answer. For Jesus too, in his deep humanity, there were complex situations: do I expel Judas from the Twelve or allow him to stay for the time being? Do I escape from Gesthemane or allow my arrest?
Reflection for Pentecost 6 12 July 2020 Isaiah 55:10-13 and Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
Reflection for Pentecost 5 5 July 2020 Romans 7: 14-25 and Matthew 11:16-19; 28-30
We groan, and try, and fail again,
We cannot come – we are but men,
Come Thou to us, O Lord.
Come Thou and find us.
Shepherd of the sheep,
We cannot come to Thee.
It is so dark.
I hear a voice that sounds across the sea.
(for full text see https://webfiles.acu.edu/departments/Library/HR/restmov_nov11/www.mun.ca/rels/restmov/texts/dasc/TUB.HTM#Page60 )
Reflection for Feast of St Peter 28 June 2020 Acts 12:1-11 and Matthew 16:13-19
Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
Reflection for Pentecost 3 21st June 2020 Romans 6:1-11 and Matthew 10:24-31
Reflection for Pentecost 2 14 June 2020 Romans 5:1-8 and Matthew 9:35-38; 10:5-8
The Greek legend of Pandora tells how she opened a jar left in her care and let out all sorts of evils into the world – war, disease and death among them. All that remained at the bottom of the jar was hope.
But what sort of hope do we need? The early Christians – apostles, disciples, St Paul, the little churches founded in Asia Minor – were faced with many trials. Their very existence was threatened by local persecution and the great might of Rome. Jesus said he was sending them out ‘like sheep in the midst of wolves’ (Mt. 10:16). And the people they were to serve lived on the breadline, afflicted with disease and demonic oppression. ‘Hope’ must have seemed an absurd luxury, flying in the face of facts. And yet St Paul insisted it was there, real and robust, in the midst of their sufferings.
Reflection for Trinity Sunday 7th June 2020 Genesis 1:1-2, 26-31 and Matthew 28:16-20
Perhaps we should not be surprised that the world continues to display both the worst and best of human activity. Racism reveals the ugly desire to dominate and assert the self against those who are different. It is clear that the Covid-19 crisis has given the opportunity to make excess profit from public need, and to flout restrictions to accommodate personal wishes and plans. Selfishness comes to the fore.
Reflection for Pentecost 31 May 2020 Acts 2:1-6; 12-17 and John 20:19-23
Reflection for the 7th Sunday of Easter 24 May 2020 Acts 1:6-11 and John 17:1-11
any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer
or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 6:2 –
and on a day of salvation I have helped you.’
See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!
Reflection for Fourth Sunday of Easter - 'Good Shepherd Sunday' 3rd May 2020
Psalm 23 and John 10:10-10
Reflection for Third Sunday of Easter 26 April 2020 Gospel: Luke 24:13-35
Reflection for Second Sunday of Easter 19 April 2020 Gospel: John 20:19-31
John’s gospel brings us right down to earth after the joy of the Resurrection garden. The disciples were terrified that the political or religious authorities would be out to get them as well as Jesus. They might even undergo the savage death that he did. All was not sweetness and Easter light. They were in real fear of the ‘outside’.
We need God’s peace to calm our fears and help us to be in our right mind. Whilst we must be sensible, we must also rest in God and trust in God’s care, whatever happens. When we know the peace of God’s presence – of Jesus standing among us, outside our locked doors as well as inside them – then we will recover our loving humanity and joy in human fellowship.
Reflection for Easter Sunday 12 April 2020 Gospel: John 20:1-18
Reflection for Maundy Thursday 9 April 2020 Gospel: John 13:1-17
let me be as Christ to you;
pray that I may have the grace to
let you be my servant too.
Reflection for Palm Sunday 5th April 2020 Gospel: Matthew 21:1-11 and 26:14-27:66
Reflection for Passion Sunday 29th March 2020 Gospel: John 11:1-45
Reflection for Mothering Sunday 22nd March 2020 Readings: 1 Samuel 1:20-28; John 19: 25b-27