12th October 2014 – 18th Sunday After Pentecost

The 4th of October is the Feast of St Francis and I forgot to mention the example of this humble man. I share with you some thoughts from Pastor Bill Armstrong’s Encouragement notes this week.

Francis of Assisi (1182-1286) was born to a merchant family in the Italian city of Assisi. As a young man, he was attracted to adventure and moved by romantic tales of knights. When he himself became a knight, he met a leper while riding through the countryside. Overwhelmed by a divine impulse, he dismounted from his horse, gave his coat to the leper, and kissed the man’s diseased face. Deeply moved by the experience, he began to re-organise his life in light of the Christian gospel, renouncing his selfish desires and his father’s wealth. A beggar for Christ’s sake, Francis inspired thousands to walk away from worldly success and join him in a movement of like-minded people who sought to renew the Christian Church of their day. Praise God for the individuals who today seek to follow Christ according to the Christian Gospel which hasn’t changed. Such individuals deserve, and ought to be receiving every encouragement possible. What is holding you back from living your God given role in such a movement today?

Lord Jesus, your Church is such that when one member of the body fails, the whole body suffers. Help us to be actively involved in encouraging one another in the Christian faith so that working together we might become a body unified in You that proclaims in thought, word and deed, the Good News that is found in You and is You. Amen

Many Blessings

Reverend Shan

 

17th Sunday After Pentecost A – 5th October 2014

Many of us are drawn by nature. We photograph sunsets and landscapes. We walk through gardens and sit on park benches. We are awed by bush fires and crashing storm waves while others chase wild storms and crazy weather patterns.

For many people, the wonder, beauty and power of creation points to the power and presence of God. Often, as we ponder these things in the presence of God, we gain insight by paying attention to the seasons and ways of nature, if not consciously then intuitively, and we are shaped by its wisdom.

Our Judeo-Christian tradition has tried to capture such wisdom in the poetry and prose of scripture. Some have had a lasting impact such as the commandments in Exodus – which were themselves received by the people of God, as they traversed the wilderness – or the teachings of Jesus such as the parable in today’s gospel (Matthew 21:33-46).

The Pharisees were threatened by the call to change and see God at work in a new way through Jesus. Sadly they were like the tenants in the vineyard destroying anyone who pointed to the errors in their faith and thinking- and, finally, killing the Son of God who came to draw them, and all of creation, back into relationship with God. In our day as we seek to find ever new expressions for our faith, how do you find the wise ways of the Holy One woven into the stuff of this earth?

Blessings

Reverend Shan