‘Teach us to pray,’ an unnamed disciple asks Jesus in today’s gospel from Luke. Beneath those words I hear the desire to have the same rich spiritual life that Jesus has with God, that same sense of connectedness that enables Jesus to radiate God’s life into the hustle and bustle of the disciples’ everyday lives, that ability to meet the reality of our human condition confident in God’s purposes to bring us all into life-giving, life-sustaining relationships.
Being a witness to the good news is not without cost. It often means opening oneself up to the criticisms of others, to ridicule by so-called ‘reasonable people’, to charges of being unfaithful to the ‘tradition’, to the struggle to make a go of this rag-tag bunch of folk we call Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral. It means suffering, not suffering in place of Christ, but suffering with Christ for on-going work of reconciliation and renewal begun so long ago.
Mary Magdalene discovered that clinginess to the past is not the same as faithfulness to God's future. The church in every age has to de-clutter in order to move into the glorious light of the resurrection.
Despite the failure of the General Synod to pass the revised Marriage Canon, Holy Trinity Cathedral is and will remain 'an inclusive communit of faith where all are welcome'. Since 1995 I have affirmed and have worked for the full inclusion of all people into the life of the Christian community. This has been and remains my commitment as your Vicar. We can and we will disagree about how we live our lives as disciples of Jesus, but we will not abandon our commitment to Jesus as Lord and the covenant of our baptism.
On the occasion of Parker's baptism, Tasha Carrothers, our Assistant Curate, offers some baptismal reflections in the style of Godly Play.
All believers want to know how to discern the presence of the Spirit of God in the events and experiences of their lives. In his letter to the Christians in Galatia, the apostle Paul give a straightforward set of criteria to guide us in discerning the Spirit's presence --- Straightforward, yes --- Simple to discern, not always.
While it's tempting to think of faith only as set of beliefs or an attitude towards life and the world, faith is a verb. We act on our confidence in what God has achieved through Jesus of Nazareth.
Emily, today you are being gathered into the loving community of Jesus’ friends. For a very long time we have brought together all sorts of people, young and old, women and men and children, so that they can know how much God loves them and how much God loves the whole world. But there’s more to being a friend of Jesus. To be a friend of Jesus we have need to be transformed, to be inspired, so that the love we have found here can be shared with others.
The ministry of Jesus is to gather people of every race and nation, people of all genders and ages, people of every social status and experience, into a beloved community, a community at one which each other just as Jesus is at one with the Holy One our God. In this beloved community diversity is not something to be feared but to be embraced. In this beloved community questions are encouraged rather than discouraged. In this beloved community love means being always prepared to say, ‘I’m sorry’, and to work towards restored life-giving relationships.