Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
If you are watching and sharing in worship online, or you are joining in the prayers of the church community in a more remote way, may the Scriptures before us today provide both challenge and comfort in this COVID time.
The readings for today can provide much to challenge us in a good way. In our first reading Moses at least finally gets to see the land promised to the Israelites, even though he dies before entering. God offered a lasting image, a vast land to bring hope and new life to God’s people. What visions are we given as people of God today, for what lies ahead for us?
In the second reading Paul shares an image of how he and his companions have shared lovingly and caringly, encouraging the fledgling Christian community in Thessalonica. It has much to offer as to how the church today can go about sharing and living the gospel in an encouraging way. That despite differences we can simply meet people where they are at. To encourage from within, rather than being judgemental from without.
Then the ‘piece de resistance’, Jesus emphasizing love as the commandment that sums up all of the Law. To be able to love God more fully, requires us to love our neighbour (all people). Vice versa to love our neighbour as best we ought is aided by our love for God. Loving the earth and all that is in it is also part of this appreciation of what is the greatest of the commandments.
May we journey well as we strive to do so 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.