Go back to normal view

 

Daily Message
May 2021

1 May 2021 Rector’s Daily Reflections Friday 30th April 2021

Thought for Today

Here’s a question for you: it is possible to think highly of someone who has made a major mistake in their life? And how about the saints of the Church: do you have to be 100 per cent perfect to be considered a saint?

Today the church remembers a saint who lived back in the 16th century. He was born in Italy in 1504, and his name was Michael Ghislieri. He became a Dominican friar and was elected Pope 1565. On his election to the papacy, he took the name Pius V, and he is known as St. Pius V.

Pius was kind to the poor and the sick and lived an austere life. He was a committed reformer, reforming not only the life of the Catholic Church but also introducing various social reforms in the city of Rome. Pius was recognised as a holy man, a man whose personal and spiritual life was beyond reproach.

But he also had to deal with the major religious and political challenges of his time. One of them was the threat posed by the Protestant Reformation. In Italy and Spain, he used the Inquisition to nip any incipient Protestantism in the bud. This was possible in these overwhelming Catholic countries. But what about England? Queen Elizabeth was Protestant, and she had both Catholics and Protestants among her subjects. And this is where Pius made a decision which it is hard to see as anything other than a major mistake. In 1570, he issued a papal bull, excommunicating Queen Elizabeth and absolving her subjects from the duty of allegiance to her. This put English Catholics in a difficult position: could they still be loyal subjects of the Queen, or did they have to choose between their faith and their country? What right had the Pope to try and depose the lawful monarch of a country? It looked as if Pius was trying to go back to how things were in Mediaeval times. It looked as if he had misread the situation, and simply made the position of English Catholics exceptionally difficult, to little if any benefit.

So, Pius V made what looks like a major mistake in his life. But he was still a holy man and can be numbered among the saints of the Church. None of us is perfect, not even a saint. It is a good thing to remember.

Prayer for Today

Lord, help us to be fair and balanced in our judgments of other people,
and remind us that all of us are sinners, and we all make mistakes. Amen.
2 May 2021 Rector’s Daily Reflections Friday 30th April 2021

Thought for Today

Here’s a question for you: it is possible to think highly of someone who has made a major mistake in their life? And how about the saints of the Church: do you have to be 100 per cent perfect to be considered a saint?

Today the church remembers a saint who lived back in the 16th century. He was born in Italy in 1504, and his name was Michael Ghislieri. He became a Dominican friar and was elected Pope 1565. On his election to the papacy, he took the name Pius V, and he is known as St. Pius V.

Pius was kind to the poor and the sick and lived an austere life. He was a committed reformer, reforming not only the life of the Catholic Church but also introducing various social reforms in the city of Rome. Pius was recognised as a holy man, a man whose personal and spiritual life was beyond reproach.

But he also had to deal with the major religious and political challenges of his time. One of them was the threat posed by the Protestant Reformation. In Italy and Spain, he used the Inquisition to nip any incipient Protestantism in the bud. This was possible in these overwhelming Catholic countries. But what about England? Queen Elizabeth was Protestant, and she had both Catholics and Protestants among her subjects. And this is where Pius made a decision which it is hard to see as anything other than a major mistake. In 1570, he issued a papal bull, excommunicating Queen Elizabeth and absolving her subjects from the duty of allegiance to her. This put English Catholics in a difficult position: could they still be loyal subjects of the Queen, or did they have to choose between their faith and their country? What right had the Pope to try and depose the lawful monarch of a country? It looked as if Pius was trying to go back to how things were in Mediaeval times. It looked as if he had misread the situation, and simply made the position of English Catholics exceptionally difficult, to little if any benefit.

So, Pius V made what looks like a major mistake in his life. But he was still a holy man and can be numbered among the saints of the Church. None of us is perfect, not even a saint. It is a good thing to remember.

Prayer for Today

Lord, help us to be fair and balanced in our judgments of other people,
and remind us that all of us are sinners, and we all make mistakes. Amen.
3 May 2021 Rector’s Daily Reflections Friday 30th April 2021

Thought for Today

Here’s a question for you: it is possible to think highly of someone who has made a major mistake in their life? And how about the saints of the Church: do you have to be 100 per cent perfect to be considered a saint?

Today the church remembers a saint who lived back in the 16th century. He was born in Italy in 1504, and his name was Michael Ghislieri. He became a Dominican friar and was elected Pope 1565. On his election to the papacy, he took the name Pius V, and he is known as St. Pius V.

Pius was kind to the poor and the sick and lived an austere life. He was a committed reformer, reforming not only the life of the Catholic Church but also introducing various social reforms in the city of Rome. Pius was recognised as a holy man, a man whose personal and spiritual life was beyond reproach.

But he also had to deal with the major religious and political challenges of his time. One of them was the threat posed by the Protestant Reformation. In Italy and Spain, he used the Inquisition to nip any incipient Protestantism in the bud. This was possible in these overwhelming Catholic countries. But what about England? Queen Elizabeth was Protestant, and she had both Catholics and Protestants among her subjects. And this is where Pius made a decision which it is hard to see as anything other than a major mistake. In 1570, he issued a papal bull, excommunicating Queen Elizabeth and absolving her subjects from the duty of allegiance to her. This put English Catholics in a difficult position: could they still be loyal subjects of the Queen, or did they have to choose between their faith and their country? What right had the Pope to try and depose the lawful monarch of a country? It looked as if Pius was trying to go back to how things were in Mediaeval times. It looked as if he had misread the situation, and simply made the position of English Catholics exceptionally difficult, to little if any benefit.

So, Pius V made what looks like a major mistake in his life. But he was still a holy man and can be numbered among the saints of the Church. None of us is perfect, not even a saint. It is a good thing to remember.

Prayer for Today

Lord, help us to be fair and balanced in our judgments of other people,
and remind us that all of us are sinners, and we all make mistakes. Amen.
4 May 2021 Rector’s Daily Reflections: 4th May 2021

Thought for Today

Last month, the Archbishops’ Anti-Racism Taskforce published a report entitled From Lament to Action. The report pointed out that over recent decades the Church has produced lots of reports relating to racial justice: in fact 25 reports have been presented to General Synod over a period of 36 years. But the taskforce felt that little had actually been done to root out the sin of racism in church life and church structures. It was now time for effective action to be taken at every level of the church’s life, from the level of each parish right up to the level of the national church.

The taskforce has made 47 recommendations for action. The recommendations are wide-ranging. They include the provision of online anti-racism training, and the promotion of equity and racial justice in church schools. They recommend the appointment of fulltime Racial Justice Officers in each diocese, and the establishment of a Racial Justice Directorate at the level of the national church. There are proposals to improve recruitment processes in the church, so that the clergy and governance structures within the church are more representative of the racial mix of our congregations and our country as a whole.

I would very much recommend engaging with the taskforce’s report. There is much to celebrate about the Church of England, but at the same time we need to recognise that the Church has its failings. Furthermore, there are steps we can take to ensure that the Church at every level better reflects the core Christian values of truth, love and justice. The promotion of racial justice within the Church is a powerful way in which we can proclaim the values of the gospel in our multi-racial and multi-cultural society.

Do have a look at the recommendations made by the taskforce. You might agree with some of the recommendations and disagree with others; you might consider that some are more important than others. That is fine. The key thing is that we engage with the issues and play our own roles in trying to root out the sin of racism, not only in the life of our Church, but in own lives as well.

Prayer for Today

Lord, every person is precious in your sight;
help us to treat everyone with fairness and justice,
and help us to work together to root out the sin of racism. Amen.
5 May 2021 Rector’s Daily Reflections: Wednesday 5th May 2021

Thought for Today

Earlier today, I was at the new cemetery in Blewbury, and sat for a few minutes on one of the benches in the lychgate. As I was sitting, I heard some very noisy birds, high up in the trees across the road. I think they were crows or rooks; I’m not skilled enough to tell these birds apart. Whether they were crows or rooks, they were certainly making a lot of noise.

As I sat, my thoughts turned to one of psalms: psalm 147. This psalm contains the following verses: “Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre. He covers the heavens with clouds, prepares rain for the earth, makes grass grow on the hills. He gives to the animals their food, and to the young ravens when they cry.”

The author of the psalm is doing more than simply describing the beauty and wonder of the natural world. He is moving beyond mere description to a conscious act of thanksgiving. As we see and appreciate the beauty all around us, we are to “sing to the Lord with thanksgiving” and “make melody to our God on the lyre”.

In other words, the more we appreciate the beauty and wonder of the world around us, the more we should want to express our thankfulness to God in acts of praise and worship. Our worship of God is an expression of our gratitude. The greater our sense of gratitude, the greater our desire to worship God.

Gratitude and thankfulness are not only a source of our desire to worship God. A spirit of thankfulness is also in itself a source of joy and happiness. When we take things for granted, we deprive ourselves of the deep joy which flows from a thankful heart. When we learn to “sing to the Lord with thanksgiving”, we open ourselves to receive God’s gift of life in all its fulness.

I wonder what you might wish to thank God for today?

Prayer for Today

Lord, sometimes we can get dispirited and overwhelmed;
help us to notice the good things which are all around us,
and give us the gift of a thankful heart. Amen.
6 May 2021 Rector’s Daily Reflections: Friday 7th May 2021

Thought for Today

Today I wish to write about someone called Peter Canisius, a Christian who lived back in the 16th Century. Peter was born in Nijmegen on 8th May 1521, almost exactly 500 years ago today. He studied at the University of Cologne and while he was in his early twenties, he decided to join the Jesuits. He remained a Jesuit for the rest of his life and died in 1597.

Shortly before he died, Peter reflected on his life, and shared his reflections with a fellow Jesuit. Why had he become a Jesuit all those years ago? For Peter, it had been about “breaking those chains in which I was not a little entangled”. Interestingly, Peter was already living a very committed Christian life at the time he felt called to be a Jesuit. And yet he still felt “entangled”. Why did Peter still feel “entangled” by the world, even though he was leading a good and pious life? It was because he felt that he lacked a sense of the freedom which is God’s gift to us in Jesus Christ. Peter wanted to experience the inner freedom which would enable him to live a life of service and love. Peter had the good fortune to meet a man called Pierre Favre, a Jesuit who exhibited that deep sense of spiritual freedom for which Peter yearned. Pierre Favre led Peter through 30 days of prayer and reflection, known as the Spiritual Exercises. Following this time of prayer and reflection, Peter was able to find the inner freedom which he desired: the time of “entanglement” was over, and Peter was now freed to live his life to its full Christian potential. And that is what he did.

For Peter to grow in his life as a Christian, he needed to overcome all that was “entangling” him in his life. I wonder what is “entangling” us in our own lives? What is preventing us from becoming all that we could be? I think often it is hard for us to see our own lives in their true light: we need a conversation partner. Peter was fortunate to find a gifted conversation partner in Pierre Favre. Is there someone we could talk to, who might help us see things as they really are?

Prayer for Today

Lord, our lives are busy and complicated,
and so often it’s hard to see the wood from the trees;
help us to see our lives clearly;
and help us to free ourselves from all that entangles and entraps our true selves. Amen.
7 May 2021 Rector’s Daily Reflections: Friday 7th May 2021

Thought for Today

Today I wish to write about someone called Peter Canisius, a Christian who lived back in the 16th Century. Peter was born in Nijmegen on 8th May 1521, almost exactly 500 years ago today. He studied at the University of Cologne and while he was in his early twenties, he decided to join the Jesuits. He remained a Jesuit for the rest of his life and died in 1597.

Shortly before he died, Peter reflected on his life, and shared his reflections with a fellow Jesuit. Why had he become a Jesuit all those years ago? For Peter, it had been about “breaking those chains in which I was not a little entangled”. Interestingly, Peter was already living a very committed Christian life at the time he felt called to be a Jesuit. And yet he still felt “entangled”. Why did Peter still feel “entangled” by the world, even though he was leading a good and pious life? It was because he felt that he lacked a sense of the freedom which is God’s gift to us in Jesus Christ. Peter wanted to experience the inner freedom which would enable him to live a life of service and love. Peter had the good fortune to meet a man called Pierre Favre, a Jesuit who exhibited that deep sense of spiritual freedom for which Peter yearned. Pierre Favre led Peter through 30 days of prayer and reflection, known as the Spiritual Exercises. Following this time of prayer and reflection, Peter was able to find the inner freedom which he desired: the time of “entanglement” was over, and Peter was now freed to live his life to its full Christian potential. And that is what he did.

For Peter to grow in his life as a Christian, he needed to overcome all that was “entangling” him in his life. I wonder what is “entangling” us in our own lives? What is preventing us from becoming all that we could be? I think often it is hard for us to see our own lives in their true light: we need a conversation partner. Peter was fortunate to find a gifted conversation partner in Pierre Favre. Is there someone we could talk to, who might help us see things as they really are?

Prayer for Today

Lord, our lives are busy and complicated,
and so often it’s hard to see the wood from the trees;
help us to see our lives clearly;
and help us to free ourselves from all that entangles and entraps our true selves. Amen.
8 May 2021 Rector’s Daily Reflections: Friday 7th May 2021

Thought for Today

Today I wish to write about someone called Peter Canisius, a Christian who lived back in the 16th Century. Peter was born in Nijmegen on 8th May 1521, almost exactly 500 years ago today. He studied at the University of Cologne and while he was in his early twenties, he decided to join the Jesuits. He remained a Jesuit for the rest of his life and died in 1597.

Shortly before he died, Peter reflected on his life, and shared his reflections with a fellow Jesuit. Why had he become a Jesuit all those years ago? For Peter, it had been about “breaking those chains in which I was not a little entangled”. Interestingly, Peter was already living a very committed Christian life at the time he felt called to be a Jesuit. And yet he still felt “entangled”. Why did Peter still feel “entangled” by the world, even though he was leading a good and pious life? It was because he felt that he lacked a sense of the freedom which is God’s gift to us in Jesus Christ. Peter wanted to experience the inner freedom which would enable him to live a life of service and love. Peter had the good fortune to meet a man called Pierre Favre, a Jesuit who exhibited that deep sense of spiritual freedom for which Peter yearned. Pierre Favre led Peter through 30 days of prayer and reflection, known as the Spiritual Exercises. Following this time of prayer and reflection, Peter was able to find the inner freedom which he desired: the time of “entanglement” was over, and Peter was now freed to live his life to its full Christian potential. And that is what he did.

For Peter to grow in his life as a Christian, he needed to overcome all that was “entangling” him in his life. I wonder what is “entangling” us in our own lives? What is preventing us from becoming all that we could be? I think often it is hard for us to see our own lives in their true light: we need a conversation partner. Peter was fortunate to find a gifted conversation partner in Pierre Favre. Is there someone we could talk to, who might help us see things as they really are?

Prayer for Today

Lord, our lives are busy and complicated,
and so often it’s hard to see the wood from the trees;
help us to see our lives clearly;
and help us to free ourselves from all that entangles and entraps our true selves. Amen.
9 May 2021 Rector’s Daily Reflections: 10th May 2021

Thought for Today

There are many different ways of thinking about religion. One way is to think about religion in terms of three relationships which are central to who we are: our relationship with ourself; our relationship with one another and the world around us; and our relationship with God. I think all religions would have something to say about each one of three relationships.

Today, I want to say a few words about our relationship with God. We tend to think a lot about our relationship with God from our own perspective: what do we think about God? What do we want from God? Of course, it is entirely natural for us to ask such questions. But what might our relationship look like from God’s point of view? What might God want from us?

Earlier today I was reading a poem written over two thousand years ago, which seeks to provide an answer to what God what be wanting from us. The poem is known as Psalm 50. The background to the poem is a world in which it was usual for people to offer up sacrifices to God. But this raised a question: of what good to God were all these sacrifices? God is a Spirit, without physical needs. God is also sovereign of the universe, so we can’t give him anything he doesn’t already possess. So, from a human point, offering up a sacrifice to God might make you feel very religious, but what did God think about the whole business? Does God really want all these sacrifices?

The author of the psalm says God does indeed want a sacrifice- but it’s not the sort of sacrifice which involves putting an animal on an altar or money into the box. What God desires is the sacrifice of the heart, expressed in sincere thankfulness and deep-seated trust in God’s good purposes for us and our world.

In other words, what God is looking for is our thankfulness and our trust. I wonder if you would agree?

Prayer for Today

Lord, help us to learn what is truly pleasing to you;
help us to trust you always and to be truly thankful for all the blessings we enjoy. Amen.
10 May 2021 Rector’s Daily Reflections: 10th May 2021

Thought for Today

There are many different ways of thinking about religion. One way is to think about religion in terms of three relationships which are central to who we are: our relationship with ourself; our relationship with one another and the world around us; and our relationship with God. I think all religions would have something to say about each one of three relationships.

Today, I want to say a few words about our relationship with God. We tend to think a lot about our relationship with God from our own perspective: what do we think about God? What do we want from God? Of course, it is entirely natural for us to ask such questions. But what might our relationship look like from God’s point of view? What might God want from us?

Earlier today I was reading a poem written over two thousand years ago, which seeks to provide an answer to what God what be wanting from us. The poem is known as Psalm 50. The background to the poem is a world in which it was usual for people to offer up sacrifices to God. But this raised a question: of what good to God were all these sacrifices? God is a Spirit, without physical needs. God is also sovereign of the universe, so we can’t give him anything he doesn’t already possess. So, from a human point, offering up a sacrifice to God might make you feel very religious, but what did God think about the whole business? Does God really want all these sacrifices?

The author of the psalm says God does indeed want a sacrifice- but it’s not the sort of sacrifice which involves putting an animal on an altar or money into the box. What God desires is the sacrifice of the heart, expressed in sincere thankfulness and deep-seated trust in God’s good purposes for us and our world.

In other words, what God is looking for is our thankfulness and our trust. I wonder if you would agree?

Prayer for Today

Lord, help us to learn what is truly pleasing to you;
help us to trust you always and to be truly thankful for all the blessings we enjoy. Amen.
11 May 2021 Rector’s Daily Reflections: 10th May 2021

Thought for Today

There are many different ways of thinking about religion. One way is to think about religion in terms of three relationships which are central to who we are: our relationship with ourself; our relationship with one another and the world around us; and our relationship with God. I think all religions would have something to say about each one of three relationships.

Today, I want to say a few words about our relationship with God. We tend to think a lot about our relationship with God from our own perspective: what do we think about God? What do we want from God? Of course, it is entirely natural for us to ask such questions. But what might our relationship look like from God’s point of view? What might God want from us?

Earlier today I was reading a poem written over two thousand years ago, which seeks to provide an answer to what God what be wanting from us. The poem is known as Psalm 50. The background to the poem is a world in which it was usual for people to offer up sacrifices to God. But this raised a question: of what good to God were all these sacrifices? God is a Spirit, without physical needs. God is also sovereign of the universe, so we can’t give him anything he doesn’t already possess. So, from a human point, offering up a sacrifice to God might make you feel very religious, but what did God think about the whole business? Does God really want all these sacrifices?

The author of the psalm says God does indeed want a sacrifice- but it’s not the sort of sacrifice which involves putting an animal on an altar or money into the box. What God desires is the sacrifice of the heart, expressed in sincere thankfulness and deep-seated trust in God’s good purposes for us and our world.

In other words, what God is looking for is our thankfulness and our trust. I wonder if you would agree?

Prayer for Today

Lord, help us to learn what is truly pleasing to you;
help us to trust you always and to be truly thankful for all the blessings we enjoy. Amen.
12 May 2021 Rector’s Daily Reflections: Wednesday 12th May 2021

Thought for Today

When people talk about spirituality, they often talk about the value of silence. Many people find that a time and place of silence helps them to connect with their true selves and with the world around them. A time of silence can help us to listen: to listen to ourselves, to others, and to God. In the Christian tradition, some religious communities establish rules and guidelines which enable significant portions of the day to be spent in silence.

However, not everyone finds a time of silence helpful in their spiritual life. Much can depend on our personality, and the circumstances in which we live our lives. For some people who live on their own, setting aside time to spend in silence is not actually conducive to spiritual growth. For some people, spiritual growth comes more fruitfully from times of conversation and social engagement with others. Perhaps most of us thrive on a bit of a mix: some times of quiet, and some times when we’re socialising with others.

Silence is sometimes confused with another value, which seems the same but actually is different. I’m thinking of the value of stillness. A time of silence might enable a time of stillness, but not necessarily. Similarly, it is quite possible to experience a sense of stillness, even though there is noise all around us. Some people who have to live their lives in the midst of noise and bustle manage to carry a sense of stillness within themselves. This sense of stillness allows them to remain calm even at times of great stress.

It might be that we don’t have the opportunity or desire for silence. But I think we can still cultivate the value of stillness, and a time of stillness can bring a rich spiritual blessing. It’s something about the discipline of intentionally calming ourselves down, pausing our activity, and slowing our breathing. And in our stillness, we can become aware that God is there at our side, as he always is, and always will be.

I think silence and stillness both have their roles to play in our spiritual life, and both can help us sense the reality of God and his love for us.

Prayer for Today

Lord, our lives and our world are often so rushed and so noisy;
help us to value those times of silence and stillness which may come our way. Amen.
13 May 2021 Rector’s Daily Reflections: Thursday 13th May 2021

Thought for Today

As you may, or may not, be aware, today is Ascension Day, a major festival in the church’s year. I thought I would say a few words about this festival.

Ascension Day marks the end of the 40-day period immediately following Easter. As Easter always falls on a Sunday, Ascension Day always falls on a Thursday.

The day has double significance: historical and theological. In terms of its historical significance, it marks a mysterious event which took place 40 days after the first Easter day. Jesus was had finished speaking to his disciples, when he was “lifted up and a cloud took him out of their sight”. This event marked the end of Jesus’ post-Easter appearances. The event is recorded at the end of Luke’s gospel, and also at the start of the Acts of Apostles. I’ve described the event as “mysterious” because we are not given the details of what happened. But clearly something took place. The risen Jesus had moved from the world of time and space, the world as we know it in our everyday lives, to another world altogether: the world of heaven. Poets have often pictured heaven as somewhere “above” us, so the language of poetry talks about Jesus “going up” into heaven. “Ascension Day” marks Jesus’s “going up” into heaven. I should emphasise that this is the language of poetry not science: heaven is not floating above us, so many thousands of miles up in the sky.

What do mean by “heaven”? Heaven is a realm of existence beyond the limits of our human concepts of time and space. It is the realm of existence where God lives. So, Jesus’ “going up” into heaven is a way of saying that Jesus is now with God, and will always be with God. And when Jesus “went up” into heaven, he did not leave his earthly nature behind him: Jesus “went up” into heaven as a full human being, in his resurrected human body.

So, from a theological point of view, Ascension Day proclaims a profound statement of belief: Jesus is in heaven with God. Jesus continues his work of teaching, prayer and healing to this day, working through the power of his Holy Spirit.

Prayer for Today

Lord, we thank you that you continue to reach out to us through your Holy Spirit;
remind us that you are always near to us, ready to hear our prayers. Amen.
14 May 2021 Rector’s Daily Reflections Friday 14th May 2021

Thought for Today

Today is St Matthias’s day. Who was St. Matthias? He was one of the apostles, chosen by the early church to replace Judas. There is an account of his appointment in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. We know very little if anything about him, other than that the early Christians considered him to be suitable for a leadership position in the church.

Why was he considered suitable? Because of his academic qualifications or business skills? No. Because of his wealth or good looks? No. He was considered suitable because he had been a follower of Jesus since the earliest days and would be a witness with the other disciples to Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

In other words, Matthias was someone who had known Jesus during his earthly life, and after he had risen from the dead on the first Easter day. Why was this personal knowledge of Jesus so important? Probably because he would have known Jesus’ teaching and miracles at first hand. He would be an authentic and effective witness to others. If people said, “how do we know that this is what Jesus actually taught”, Matthias could answer them by saying that he himself heard Jesus say the words. And if people said, “how do we know that this particular miracle happened”, Matthias could answer them by saying that he knew that it did happen, because he was there. In other words, Matthias was an authentic witness to the life and teaching of Jesus.

Every follower of Jesus is called to be an authentic witness to the life and teaching of Jesus. Of course, for us, living 2000 years later, we can not base an authentic witness on our own eyewitness testimony as to what Jesus said and did. But there are other ways we can witness to Jesus. We can show how Jesus’ teachings inform the way we live our lives. We can demonstrate to others and to the world around us that we try our best to live our lives in accordance with the teachings of Jesus. How can we do this? By trying our best to love God and to love our neighbour, with all our heart, and soul and strength.

Prayer for Today

Lord, help us to be a witness to your love and mercy,
in the way that we relate to one another and to the world around us. Amen.
15 May 2021 Rector’s Daily Reflections Friday 14th May 2021

Thought for Today

Today is St Matthias’s day. Who was St. Matthias? He was one of the apostles, chosen by the early church to replace Judas. There is an account of his appointment in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. We know very little if anything about him, other than that the early Christians considered him to be suitable for a leadership position in the church.

Why was he considered suitable? Because of his academic qualifications or business skills? No. Because of his wealth or good looks? No. He was considered suitable because he had been a follower of Jesus since the earliest days and would be a witness with the other disciples to Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

In other words, Matthias was someone who had known Jesus during his earthly life, and after he had risen from the dead on the first Easter day. Why was this personal knowledge of Jesus so important? Probably because he would have known Jesus’ teaching and miracles at first hand. He would be an authentic and effective witness to others. If people said, “how do we know that this is what Jesus actually taught”, Matthias could answer them by saying that he himself heard Jesus say the words. And if people said, “how do we know that this particular miracle happened”, Matthias could answer them by saying that he knew that it did happen, because he was there. In other words, Matthias was an authentic witness to the life and teaching of Jesus.

Every follower of Jesus is called to be an authentic witness to the life and teaching of Jesus. Of course, for us, living 2000 years later, we can not base an authentic witness on our own eyewitness testimony as to what Jesus said and did. But there are other ways we can witness to Jesus. We can show how Jesus’ teachings inform the way we live our lives. We can demonstrate to others and to the world around us that we try our best to live our lives in accordance with the teachings of Jesus. How can we do this? By trying our best to love God and to love our neighbour, with all our heart, and soul and strength.

Prayer for Today

Lord, help us to be a witness to your love and mercy,
in the way that we relate to one another and to the world around us. Amen.
16 May 2021 Rector’s Daily Reflections Friday 14th May 2021

Thought for Today

Today is St Matthias’s day. Who was St. Matthias? He was one of the apostles, chosen by the early church to replace Judas. There is an account of his appointment in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. We know very little if anything about him, other than that the early Christians considered him to be suitable for a leadership position in the church.

Why was he considered suitable? Because of his academic qualifications or business skills? No. Because of his wealth or good looks? No. He was considered suitable because he had been a follower of Jesus since the earliest days and would be a witness with the other disciples to Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

In other words, Matthias was someone who had known Jesus during his earthly life, and after he had risen from the dead on the first Easter day. Why was this personal knowledge of Jesus so important? Probably because he would have known Jesus’ teaching and miracles at first hand. He would be an authentic and effective witness to others. If people said, “how do we know that this is what Jesus actually taught”, Matthias could answer them by saying that he himself heard Jesus say the words. And if people said, “how do we know that this particular miracle happened”, Matthias could answer them by saying that he knew that it did happen, because he was there. In other words, Matthias was an authentic witness to the life and teaching of Jesus.

Every follower of Jesus is called to be an authentic witness to the life and teaching of Jesus. Of course, for us, living 2000 years later, we can not base an authentic witness on our own eyewitness testimony as to what Jesus said and did. But there are other ways we can witness to Jesus. We can show how Jesus’ teachings inform the way we live our lives. We can demonstrate to others and to the world around us that we try our best to live our lives in accordance with the teachings of Jesus. How can we do this? By trying our best to love God and to love our neighbour, with all our heart, and soul and strength.

Prayer for Today

Lord, help us to be a witness to your love and mercy,
in the way that we relate to one another and to the world around us. Amen.
17 May 2021 Rector’s Daily Reflections Friday 14th May 2021

Thought for Today

Today is St Matthias’s day. Who was St. Matthias? He was one of the apostles, chosen by the early church to replace Judas. There is an account of his appointment in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. We know very little if anything about him, other than that the early Christians considered him to be suitable for a leadership position in the church.

Why was he considered suitable? Because of his academic qualifications or business skills? No. Because of his wealth or good looks? No. He was considered suitable because he had been a follower of Jesus since the earliest days and would be a witness with the other disciples to Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

In other words, Matthias was someone who had known Jesus during his earthly life, and after he had risen from the dead on the first Easter day. Why was this personal knowledge of Jesus so important? Probably because he would have known Jesus’ teaching and miracles at first hand. He would be an authentic and effective witness to others. If people said, “how do we know that this is what Jesus actually taught”, Matthias could answer them by saying that he himself heard Jesus say the words. And if people said, “how do we know that this particular miracle happened”, Matthias could answer them by saying that he knew that it did happen, because he was there. In other words, Matthias was an authentic witness to the life and teaching of Jesus.

Every follower of Jesus is called to be an authentic witness to the life and teaching of Jesus. Of course, for us, living 2000 years later, we can not base an authentic witness on our own eyewitness testimony as to what Jesus said and did. But there are other ways we can witness to Jesus. We can show how Jesus’ teachings inform the way we live our lives. We can demonstrate to others and to the world around us that we try our best to live our lives in accordance with the teachings of Jesus. How can we do this? By trying our best to love God and to love our neighbour, with all our heart, and soul and strength.

Prayer for Today

Lord, help us to be a witness to your love and mercy,
in the way that we relate to one another and to the world around us. Amen.
18 May 2021
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