Hi all, reflection below:
Vicar’s Reflection: Sunday 5th February 2017, Waitangi Weekend
We live in a time that emphasizes compliance and risk avoidance. This way of thinking and behaving means we do the minimum of what is required; whether building a highway or a house or sometimes even a relationship. “Just do enough to keep things sweet” we may think. God calls us to a higher standard. The Treaty of Waitangi established a relationship of mutual respect between Maori and the Crown. To make it work we must go beyond compliance. In the reading from Isaiah the prophet speaks about people who do the religious fast with a public display of penitence, ashes and sack-cloth, but oppress their workers, quarrel and attack one another, then complain because God does not bless them. Instead. Isaiah says the kind of fast God looks for is when we oppose injustice, set people free and act with kindness, respect and generosity. ‘Letting your light shine’ is what Jesus called it. We need to go beyond compliance. St Paul talks about the strangeness of God’s wisdom, because it involves going beyond the human expectation of ‘quid-pro-quo’ or ‘tit-for-tat’. Instead we seek to excel in kindness, generosity and love, even with those who do not return it. A compliance culture results in a mean-spirited adequacy in the way we do things. God calls us to glory, to generosity, to excellence in all our relationships. Something to reflect on this Waitangi week-end.