Sunday 14th June
In the Church’s year we are now in the season of the Trinity which is often described as “Ordinary Time”. All the major festivals have been celebrated and thus we look forward to our Sunday scripture reflecting the day to day ministry of Christ. Over the next few months of Sundays, we will hear once again the great miracles, parables, and teachings of Christ. In all these accounts we are reminded of God’s message (through Jesus) of hope, love and salvation.
The irony this year is that we are not in ordinary time. As our lockdown continues with only the minimal of easing, we must continue to show courage and patience in the face of adversity. I must admit I am finding it all very trying……as I’m sure we all are. But thank goodness for technology! It was wonderful last Sunday to see one another on the coffee Zoom and to remind ourselves what we all look like!
The bible readings this morning all speak of ministry and of God’s calling us to be his people. This year we must interpret this in the context of our confinement.
In the Old Testament, in the reading from Exodus, Israel camps at the foot of Mount Sinai. God summons Moses to the mountain and declares his intention to make Israel into a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation”
In our gospel this morning we hear how Jesus travelled throughout cities and villages proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, curing every disease and every sickness. He clearly shows distress at the state of the crowds who have come to him with their many needs. They are described in Matthew as “harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd”
Perhaps that is how we as a nation could be described. We look to our politicians and their advisors to lead us out of this crisis, but the way is not clear and the future of so many things we recently took for granted is still uncertain.
So, we must look to The One Great Shepherd to lead us and save us.
Throughout history there have been many ordinary times that have been quite extraordinary, for example during the war. In many ways there is no such thing as ordinary time because our circumstances are always changing, and our lifestyles evolve according to our contexts. However, throughout all this, God remains constant and his message is steadfast. Paul, in his letter to the Romans, assures us of this fact; that faith in God grants us his ever presence, love, hope and peace.
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1-15
I look forward to our Coffee Zoom at 11.45 and I will be sending a separate invitation by e-mail just like last week.
Now that we are permitted to mix in a limited way, please let me know if you would like me to visit, albeit outside, socially distancing. I would be delighted to see any of you.
Tomorrow the Eucharist will be available at 11am online. http://www.scotland.anglican.org/broadcast-sunday-worship/ Alternatively, you can access it by going straight onto the Scottish Episcopal Church website.
I will look forward to joining you all again via YouTube on Thursday for our morning Eucharist
My love and prayers to you all as always