Weekly Letter from St Luke's - 4 December 2020
Dear Parish Friends
Our Old Testament reading this coming Sunday, from the prophet Isaiah, starts with these words, which I shall quote from the King James Version:
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God
When you hear this, maybe, like me you hear in your mind a crystal-clear tenor voice during a performance of Handel’s Messiah, often a staple of the Christmas festivities. But, as always, it is worth moving behind the musical grandeur and consider what this is saying to us in our situation. Isaiah is here proclaiming a valuable message about the character of God. To Isaiah’s contemporaries, this was a message to a demoralised people in exile, that even in the depths of their despair, God still cares and still speaks. It was a preposterous claim to those mourning the loss of all that they knew.
But who brings this message today? And to whom? I believe that we are all both the ones who need to be again reminded that God loves us, and the ones who need to share this message to the world. And it still in many ways sounds a preposterous claim, but the Advent message of Christ’s presence in the world is one that brings Hope, Joy, Peace and Love.
How do we move forward in this? Individually we can take this time of Advent to reflect on what the coming of the saviour means, perhaps by devotional reading. Then as a parish, we can explore our role in proclaiming the message. This is what we are doing as we develop our Mission Action Plan, that I wrote about last week. Isaiah preached, Paul wrote letters; what will St Luke’s Ekibin do?
Our preliminary meeting last Sunday identified areas where we feel we are called to work to promote our vision for God in this area, but we need to consider carefully what specific actions we can do that will achieve this. Our next meeting will be a ‘talking circle’ next Thursday, 10th December, online via Zoom.
Please contact me if you would like to participate, or have a copy of the notes made so far.
I look forward to worshipping with you this weekend. The notice paper and service sheets for the Saturday evening 6pm online service and Sunday 9am service, also streamed on Zoom, are attached.
Please take note of the Christmas carol services and services on Christmas Eve and Day (listed in the notice paper and on our website. Who might you invite to come to church with your this year?
With blessings for the week ahead.
Yours in Christ