Launcells Methodist Chapel - * Now closed *
As I write this piece, I am listening to a tribute to the life of Prince Philip.
The theme of the tribute reflects on his willingness to step aside from his own career and aspirations, and to support the monarchy. His ability to, even with great personal gifts and talents, subjugate them to his role as consort to the Queen. To contentedly walk one step behind!
Communities like ours rely on people being willing to offer sacrificial service. Parishes and Churches can only function effectively if the people who make them up, take up an active role.
We are grateful to all those who are offering themselves up for election to our local political posts. We wish them well and commit to actively supporting the elected in their endeavours.
My question to us all this month is, what are you/we able to offer to build up the community in which we live? What talents do you have that could be offered to, and utilised by, the wider group?
Jesus set an example to those who follow his story. The Bible says that even though he was God, He was willing to set aside His glory, come to earth, and live among us, as an example of exemplary human living and loving. He was willing to accept that this would mean sacrifice, anguish and pain, he had to set aside much. However, ultimately His life and example would prove to be a transformational and powerful act of grace and love.
I hope we will all consider our opportunity to emulate Christ, and Prince Philip, in social action and community service.
Revd Neal Street
Reflection, Sacrifice, Resurrection.
Covid has given us time to REFLECT on the ways in which life is precious, can be fleeting, and how vulnerable human existence can be. Lockdown has required SACRIFICE in so many ways, some have even literally given their lives for others. The hope of an effective vaccine and the possibility to live our lives in new, different and more productive way, gives us hope of a RESURRECTION to normality.
The Easter story of Jesus has parallels.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus REFLECTED on his journey through life. He pondered on what God wanted for him. He tried to negotiate with God about going in a different way, a less sacrificial journey. He resolved to do what was right, even though it was a journey fraught with uncertainty and danger.
The journey led to a cross. Jesus made the ultimate SACRIFICE. He offered his life so that others, you and me, might have the possibility of living life in a more complete way. He illustrated what true love can do; what it really meant to work to change the world. When he died, he reconciled the whole of creation to God. Our relationship with the creator, was made whole again.
On Easter Sunday morning, when his followers looked for a body in a graveyard, they found that he was not there, because the negativity of death, defeat, anguish and pain could not hold him. Jesus was RESURRECTED, vibrant, alive, eternal! He showed us that life can be seen from a fresh perspective. No longer do we need to be confined by a mundane everyday existence, but can live fulfilled, and empowered by God’s eternal plan.
Read the story in any of the Gospels.