Day of Pentecost, 31 May 2020

Reflection for the Day of Pentecost, May 31, 2020. When Jesus taught the crowds He used broad, general principles and avoided laying down rules like the Scribes and Pharisees. The Beatitudes are a good example of Jesus’ method – Blessed are the poor in spirit – Blessed are the peacemakers. But how exactly are we to be peacemakers? We have the Holy Spirit to guide us. Christian ethics are seldom black and white. How are we to interpret the injunction to be angry and sin not (Eph 4.26). We need the Spirit’s guidance to decide when our anger becomes sinful. This guidance does not usually come in a vision or in some ecstatic experience. The Spirit works in and through our mental processes

Sunday after Ascension 24 May 2020

Reflection for the Sunday after Ascension Thursday of this week is Ascension Day, commemorating the end of the resurrection appearances. It was necessary for Jesus to help the disciples to understand that He would no longer be a physical presence with them on earth. In future they would experience Jesus as a glorious spiritual presence. These truths are difficult to express in words and the Bible prefers to tell a story. Such stories can take various forms – parables, letters, poems, prayers to name but a few. At Acts 1.1-11 Luke tells how Jesus and His disciples went up the Mount of Olives and after a brief message Jesus was enveloped in a cloud and taken up out of their sight. The dis

17 May 2020 6th Sunday of Easter

Reflection This period of lockdown has been the longest period in my life as a Christian that I have not been able to receive the Holy Communion. Yet I have not felt any lessening of grace. As I thought about this I realised that through the Bible there is a very real connection with the living God. We call the scriptures the Living Word and there is a real sense that God lives in and through the Scriptures. We find God in the Gospel stories; in the letters; in the mysterious imagery of Revelation; and of course in the Books of the Old Testament which set forth the mighty acts of the Creator God in preparation for the Messiah. As a Living Word and as a means of grace they stand alongside

Sunday 10 May 2020 5th Sunday of Easter

Reflection on the Gospel “Happy Easter!” “Thank you for ordering from us.” “You are the best!” These are messages written by a local supplier, placed inside boxes delivered to us over the past few weeks of lockdown. They encourage people to continue ordering online and supporting local business. It is a choice they have made: to foster a climate of good humour and to be friendly. It echoes the encouragement that we have received as a nation - as our Prime Minister, Jacinda, reminds us to be kind and keep safe. Long before our meat delivery and Jacinda Ardern, Jesus preached a way – not just a way to God, but a way of being. It is the way of kindness, the way of goodness, the way of encou

True Leadership 4th Sunday of Easter 3 May 2020

Vicar’s Reflection: True Leadership, 4th Sunday of Easter. 3rd May 2020, With confronting words Jesus outlines the true purpose of leadership: “that they may have life and have it to the full.” Jesus offers the role of the shepherd as his model. Here are three reflections from this model: 1) Both religious and secular leaders must act for the safeguarding of those in their care. Their responsibility is to lead, protect, feed, call and gather their people. Leadership means anticipating needs before they arise and taking steps to ensure proper provision for the needs of the community and to ensure fulness of life. 2) In the context of the threat from Covid 19 we have seen from the range of res

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