Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Welcome to worship as we celebrate the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany. A continuing of this special time of remembering Christ as the light of the world. This is particularly important today also as we welcome Alexis Evelyn Hinds into the life of God’s Church through Baptism.
A warm welcome also to her parents Alisha and Shannon, godparents, grandparents, family and friends. There is some pretty strong stuff in today’s Scriptures, but as always it is highly important to remember that a literal reading is not necessarily the best reading of what is in front of us. The context, both historically and culturally also plays an important role.
Attempting and working at good and healthy relationships and being mindful of how Christ calls us to live out our lives is the key message. Yes Jesus appears to be highly critical and rightly so in a society where in many cases the law was being interpreted by the elite, often for their own convenience. They saw themselves as the righteous ones. Yes there are times when all of us in our lives fail—”to err is to be human.” However there is forgiveness when we truly seek it and repent, both to God and sometimes other people too. God is love.
May our Lord be with us as we share in the faith of Christ this week.
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.