Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
Welcome to worship on this Fifth Sunday of the Easter Season.
I absolutely love this verse from our second reading today (1 John 4:16b) that goes as follows:
God is love and those able to love, abide in God and God abides in them.
In fact the whole of 1 John 4:16b is worthy of our greatest attention, because unfortunately as human beings we can so often fail to live up to this standard.
It is modelled in the life of God. As God walks this earth in the life of Jesus and being the atoning sacrifice for all our sins. As Jesus in his own life and ministry met people where they were at and particularly showed such deep empathy to the lowly, the outcast and all who were marginalized and judged because they were seen as different.
The challenge for us today is to seek to maintain the character of Christ through seeking to live our lives and respond to others as Jesus did so well. To love God and our sisters and brothers without judgement, but through engendering dignity, respect and compassion foremost in all that we do.
May the risen Christ continue to inspire and lead us to be evermore his people.
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.