Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Welcome to worship as we celebrate the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost.
As I sat contemplating the Scripture Readings for this Sunday, I couldn't but be taken by the thought of how God’s grace is experienced so often, even in difficult. Difficulties that seem hopeless or even irredeemable.
In the Old Testament Reading, despite David’s foolish mistakes and in this case sinful and evil action, God ultimately goes on to work through the worst of this situation to bring about salvation.
The Psalmist likewise recognises the frailty of the human condition and of the confusion that often exists between good and evil, right and wrong. The best of humanity, now matter how good, is still imperfect. But God doesn’t ask us to be perfect. The best we can do is to seek God in our lives, to encourage others to do so and share our experiences.
Today’s reading from the Letter to the Ephesians can help to realize that God really is present in people’s lives. There is a prayer here that our inner being be strengthened and that Christ come to live in our hearts. How good and important it is to recognise the love of God that is in us. As God’s people we can be filled with all the fullness of God.” An important reminder always and especially when the going gets tough!
Then there is the Gospel reading and a feeding miracle results out of such little provision. Like how the disciples doubt that Jesus could really do anything with five barley loaves and two fish to feed such a large crowd. How often might we fail to trust God to provide what we need? Likewise our celebrating Eucharist together is a reminder each week, that even a small piece of bread and a sip of wine is all that is necessary for nourishing our spirits to the point that we can continue to live and share the wonder of God’s mercy and grace that is available and open to all. Jesus is truly present to us in both the Sacrament and in our lives.
Can Christ who is alive in us, live this week through our hearts and hands?
May we journey well with 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.