Vicar’s Reflection: Lent 4, 11th March 2018, Top Parish
Welcome to all those here for Top Parish! It is especially good to have with us Bishop Andrew, recently returned from visiting Tonga and Fiji; and Bishop Ngarahu Katene of Te Manawa o te Wheke, and also the Bishop for the Day. As we gather, the threat of Cyclone Hola looms. It has already passed over Vanuatu. How it will affect New Zealand we do not know. It will bring back memories of Cyclone Bola which also passed over Vanuatu on 28 Feb 1988 then hit New Zealand on 8 March 1988 causing huge damage in Gisborne and Eastland and other parts of NZ. Four people died because of the storm and many were evacuated. As I write on Friday morning I can only assume we will go ahead with Top Parish, as it seems Hola will not hit until late on Sunday. That means many will be travelling back to already storm damaged areas with the prospect of another storm coming. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who will face the full force of the storm. At this time we are also aware of the approach of Easter and what that means. Jesus faced the final storm of his life and entered it willingly because he knew it was the fulfilment of God’s plan to bring freedom to all humanity. We face the storms of life with Jesus because we know he has been through worse than us and he is alive forevermore.