Vicar’s Reflection: OS 20, August 20th 2017
There is a seldom visited section of the NZ Prayer Book well worth a read starting on page 926; it is the Catechism. It presents Anglican beliefs in clear and simple language as answers to a set of questions. Some sections of the Catechism should be looked at with more interest as we consider the proposal in Motion 29 to the General Synod that clergy who agree to do so may liturgically bless the marriages of same gender couples who are lawfully married. One question in the catechism is especially relevant Q 67. What values characterise the followers of Christ? I commend these questions and answers for reading and reflection. All our readings today feature insiders and outsiders of one kind or another. The trend I see in God’s mission, both from the Old Testament and the New is that God seeks inclusion and reconciliation. The Mission of God expressed in the story of Joseph and in Romans and in the record of Jesus’ actions is all about bringing in to the Kingdom those who for various reasons are excluded. The drought afflicted Hebrews are brought in to the safety of Egypt; a dysfunctional family are reconciled; Jewish and Gentile Christians are to be reconciled; a foreign woman receives healing from Jesus. My prayer is that this graciousness of God which characterises the Kingdom will also be present in the Church.