Dear Parish Friends
Today (Wednesday) the church calendar celebrates the birth of John the Baptist. The reading we had at Evening Prayer included this strange verse (Matthew 11:16-17). After telling his listeners about John, Jesus says:
But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another,
“We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we wailed, and you did not mourn.”
Jesus is likening ‘this generation’ to children playing in the village square. One group says to another ‘let’s play weddings’ and the other replies ‘no, we don’t feel like being happy today’. Then the first group says ‘Okay, let’s play funerals’, and the others say ‘we don’t feel like being sad’. The Scots theologian William Barclay says they were being ‘contrary’; no matter what was suggested, they did not want to do it, and no matter what was offered they found fault with it. To Jesus’ first hearers, some criticised John the Baptist, whose asceticism they thought madness, and/or Jesus, whose inclusive and expansive behaviour they thought wanton. Thus, they missed how John’s preaching of repentance had moved the hearts of people to God, or how Jesus’ involvement with all had showed how they could have a new access to God through him.
Jesus says, it is often the case, like the Jew’s of Jesus’ day, that people who don’t want to listen to the truth will find an excuse not to listen. Or else they may have prejudices that blind them to a different way of seeing and doing. This is a good message for us today, as we plan ahead for how worship and mission might look in this Covid-19 affected world. We need to be open to other ideas, to new ways of doing things, but most importantly to keep our eye on the goal to bring people into God’s Kingdom. I look forward to continuing to share this journey with you all.
Attached is a summary of last week’s Parish Council. You will see that this planning for the future is part of our deliberations. I will be very happy to talk with any parishioner about this.
I remind you that the Faculty notice for the hanging of the St Aidan’s sanctuary lamp has now been posted on the church door for two weeks and so this will be sent back to the Archbishop shortly.
After the successful parish walk last week, Honor is planning the next walk for 2pm Tuesday 28th July at Minnippi Parklands (entrance on Stanton Rd West, via Graystone Street off Wynnum Rd). More details will come nearer the time, but put this date in your calendar now!
Next Sunday, we remember Saints Peter and Paul, another example of two different ways to proclaim the same gospel, so I offer a prayer for that day:
Almighty God, whose blessed apostles Peter and Paul glorified you, grant that your Church, instructed by their teaching and example, and knit together in unity by your Spirit, may ever stand firm upon the one foundation, which is Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
With blessings for the week ahead.
Yours in Christ