Dear sisters and brothers in Christ
Greetings! As the weeks go by in this strangest of years it sometimes is difficult to know what to write next. I certainly want to offer hope and share something that is encouraging in the midst of a difficult time. On of the great things about sharing things about our Christian faith is we can do just that.
In our reading from the Letter to the Philippians what really struck me there apart from the exquisite and poetic verses around the nature of who Jesus is and what he has done, is the verse, “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” Having the mind of Christ on the one hand seems almost impossible, but in prayer and reflection, as we study his life and ministry and how he went about it, we can discover something of Jesus mind.
What might the mind of Christ encourage us to be and do:
* Live humbly—”Though he was in the form of God he did not regard equality with God.” * Give generously—”He emptied himself, taking the form of a slave.”
* Live each day with purpose—Just as Jesus went about his ministry, so we are called to a continual sharing of his life. To seek the Lord in not only belieiving but living faith in a way that gives witness to God’s love and life.
May you ,journey well & safely with Christ this week.
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
Yet another week passes and as we have been praying for a light at the end of the tunnel, it appears a little light is on its way. This past week in preparing for today, I’ve been reflecting on forgiveness, which is the overall theme in our Gospel passage. Jesus places a high demand on us and all who follow him to be a forgiving people. Yet offering, or receiving forgiveness is always easier to say than to do. Sometimes it is a journey, but a necessary one that all must take. Brendan Byrne in ‘Lifting the Burden’ puts it like this: “Forgiveness nonetheless is not easy. For some people—an very understandably in view of things they have suffered—it seems an impossible requirement. Fellow Christians and above all pastors would be foolish simply to confront such people with the demand of forgiveness in stark form as it appears here. The capacity to forgive is itself a grace. For many it will be a lifelong project, to be sought in prayer and supplication from God. What Jesus requires is forgiveness ‘from the heart’ (vs 35) that is, from the radical core of a person that is the domain of God and that only God’s grace can ultimately touch and heal.” Is there anything in your life requiring forgiveness of others, from others or to others that you can take some steps towards in your own life.
Journey safe and well, remembering God loves you no matter what.
Rev Cannon Ian Howarth is the Rector of the Anglican Parish of St Paul's Kyneton and St John's Malmsbury and is the team leader of the Central Highlands Cluster.