This week in our reading from Mark Jesus, through his actions, is revealed as King of Heaven. Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians is quite clear that it can be difficult being a subject of the Kingdom of Heaven. He lists what the early Christians endured; afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labours, sleepless nights, hunger. Then Paul lists how they survived these trials; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God. As Christians we are always practicing this second list ready for when we face things from the first list.
After being baked in the sun last week we return to church this Sunday with 8.00am and 10.00am communion services. But no singing! The 8.00am service will be according to the Book of Common Prayer. On the second Sunday of July at 10 o’clock we will worship in the forecourt so we can sing some hymns in a service themed on celebrating godparents, weather permitting, unless the Church of England guidelines change.
There has now be a change in Church of England guidelines for worship. Masks still need to be worn, seating is at 2 metres and hands must be sanitised but up to six people or two households can sit together.
We will broadcast the 1000am Sunday service using Zoom. Details of how to access this broadcast are at the bottom of this letter.
A Prayer for Calm in The Storm
Oh loving Lord, the wind and rain come down fast and hard, clouds darken against me. Won’t you help me?
Send me your protection and peace against the chaos. May your grace cover and calm my heart even in the uncertainty.
Send your Spirit to show me that no matter what happens my soul is at rest in the love and mercy of Christ Jesus.
May I wait when I must wait, act when I must act. Let patience and clarity keep my mind focused on your will.
This only happens if I trust you and seek you. So here I am, oh loving Lord, at your feet, under your wing until the storm passes.
In Jesus name,
I hope and pray that you all have a good week, that you are keeping well and taking care. If you want to talk to me, please free to call me on 873176. Let us pray that we can continue to meet in church and via Zoom. Details of Zoom are below.
With love, peace and prayers to you all.
A reflection on the 2 Corinthians
Paul reminds us, in 2 Corinthians, that life for a Christian is still a battle. He returns to the idea repeatedly. Verses 4-8 contain a list that we may be tempted to skim over (“hardship, sufferings, peace, love”, yada yada yada), but it cloaks complexity. It begins with tough stuff: horrors that Christians can expect to endure, based on Paul’s own experience. But then it changes, without explanation.
In the Greek, Paul commends himself “in” each one of his sufferings; and the list continues, with no change, into “in” purity, knowledge, and the rest.
What this suggests is two parallel aspects of Christian discipleship. On the one hand, we are “in” painful challenges, which take us to the limit of our endurance. Negative goodness, if you like: the resistance of cruelty; a refusal to meet force with force. On the other hand, we are “in” virtues and blessings that, if we live our faith aright, are as unavoidable as the sufferings. We do not strive to achieve them: we are already “in” them. This is positive goodness: immersion in all the favours that surround the true disciple
Rev. Cally Hammond ©Church Times
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