The Inside Column 17/03

Posted in: The Inside Column- Mar 17, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

We have a new Bishop, Reverend Stephen Maina Mwangi . A couple of weeks ago we (synod reps and clergy) had the three day meeting to choose a new Bishop. We had three really good candidates and over the three days there was much iscussion and times of prayer as we sought Gods will for this important role in the life of the Church. It was a very interesting process to be involved and my prayer is simply that God will be with Steve as he takes on this big challenge.

Steve up to this point was been leading the New Zealand Church Missionary Society. He is an ordained Anglican minister and a gifted public speaker, Steve was our speaker at camp last year. Steve and his wife Watiri, a counsellor, supervisor and counselling educator, are both passionate about advocating God’s mission, and we look forward to welcoming them to the Diocese.

The second week of Lent…

At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem! “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”                 - Luke 13:31-35

 

Luke earlier introduced Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem with the words, “It came to pass, when the days were near that he should be taken up, he intently set his face to go to Jerusalem” - Luke 9:51

This journey will continue until Jesus reaches Jerusalem recorded in Luke 19:28. Our Gospel lesson for this week shows Jesus in the midst of that journey – doing his work – unafraid of danger -confident of the outcome – and yet saddened by the response of Jerusalem.

Jesus faced danger from Herod and religious leaders, but did not allow that to stop him. Christians all over the world face persecution  today, and we admire their persistent faith. Most of us face lesser, more subtle challenges. While nobody here is likely to beaten or imprisoned because of our faith, we are likely to be criticised for our witness – or threatened in our profession or community, or label led as intolerant (the greatest of sins in a politically correct world).

Are we willing to persist in our witness, with Grace and Truth in the face of such threats?

 

Yours in Christ

 

Philip

 

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