Dear people of faith,
A wonderful forum yesterday with Aunty Jean, “Come on the Journey”. Below is the link to the podcast, there were many people unable to come due to close off of registrations. I have also included the link to Jonathan’s 8am sermon – to remind you that each week the sermon goes up on the web as podcast.
May your day be kind, and may you give kindness. Rev’d Jan
Collect for the Week
without you we are not able to please you:
mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit
may in all things direct and rule our hearts;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen APBA p.581
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 7: 1-10
After Jesus had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death. When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave. When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy of having you do this for him, for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us.” And Jesus went with them, but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you. But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.
GOSPEL Reflection : Contributed by Rev’d Josie
Imagine the love of this high powered, well respected man, who would humble himself for his slave – the lowest of the low! Imagine what a man must have been like – a man who would willingly, eagerly sacrifice his own position and reputation to beg just a few words from an itinerant healer. I sometimes wonder if this man wasn’t himself perhaps as close to Jesus as any of Jesus’ other followers, for the love that he showed.
There are people in my life whom the world tells me is ‘under’ me in power and control. I work with a lot of them – children, particularly children in care, particularly children with high support needs, are generally seen as people that should be seen and not heard. Their struggles are hidden – you can’t see trauma or brain damage or different neurotypes on the surface. Some people are embarrassed, uncomfortable, nervous when they encounter someone who is so low in status compared to themselves, especially when the ‘slave’ (or child etc) doesn’t even seem aware of the power imbalance! I have heard that children in care shouldn’t care about brand names – they should be grateful for what they have. They shouldn’t expect the same material belongings as the other kids at school – they should be happy that they have a safe place to live. How dare they need to leave due to sensory overwhelm – do they have no manners? Look at that child throwing a tantrum – someone needs to show them who’s boss! Such love do we show these slaves. These children.
Jesus shows us a better way. A gentler way. Jesus reminds us over and over and over again that love shows up, and love sacrifices, and love understands. A master humbles himself for a slave – such a perfect image for what God has done for us! To cast away status and power and superiority and give people not only what they need to survive, but to thrive. In Jesus we can thrive, and through Jesus we can share this gift with the world.
May we who have power also humble ourselves in order that the slaves may be made well.
FINAL PRAYER from “Bread of Tomorrow”, HALAD Review (Philippines),
Here I am
one small voice.
Here I am
one young soul.
Let me join your world,
enjoy your world,
and take it s my own.
I need your love.
Here we are;
take a look at us.
Here we are;
can you see us at all?
All alone and unsure –
can you feel our fears?
Let us share them all with you.
Don’t take away my time to be a child:
let me breathe the air with you;
give me room to be and space to see;
lend me a name, a voice to sing my dreams.
Tell me, can I share your world?
Share the world with me –
I am one young dream;
I need your love.