Hello everyone! I still woke up feeling exhausted again this morning, after collapsing in bed shattered last night, so I am obviously going to take a bit longer to get back to my normal energetic self! I always expect too much of myself, but it is difficult to learn to listen to my body and accept that I am not as young as I used to be! I walked to church this morning as no one needed a lift and I am trying to exercise a little to help me maybe even lose a little weight!?
It was a lovely communion service this morning. Our minister Trevor Dixon preached on the importance of being salt and light in the world. We are called to make a difference in the world; salt preserves and flavours foods making them taste better and that is what we as followers of Jesus to bring ‘flavour’ to the world. What does ‘flavour’ do for the world mean for us; it means that we as believers should be seen as making a difference for the good in the world. Perhaps the image of light makes it clearer what Jesus was meaning. We are to shine in as lights in the world not with our own light but showing the light of God reflecting his glory in a needy world. These ideals seem to be too lofty for us and how can we translate them today? Being Salt and Light means that we share the values of Jesus namely justice and mercy; we are called to fight for the oppressed and not be oppressors ourselves. Worship alone without any effect on our behaviour is hypocritical, as Trevor explained, but that does not mean that worship is unimportant; we need to worship God, grow closer to him through Jesus, so the light of Jesus grows stronger in us and leads us to stand up for justice alongside those who have no voice and support the vulnerable and weak.
The children joined us for communion and shared what they had been discussing in their groups. They had drawn pictures of their families and others who might seem different from them; the younger children had drawn flags of different countries and themselves and their families saying that all should accept each other even if they are different from us. A verse from our first hymn echoes the same theme:
‘Jesus calls us to each other:
Found in him are no divides.
Race and class and sex and language –
Such are barriers he derides.
Join the hand of friend and stranger;
Join the hands of age and youth;
Join the faithful and the doubter
In their common search for truth.’
Words by John L Bell and Graham Maule
Our final hymn also emphasised the same message.
‘Across the world, across the street,
The victims of injustice cry
For shelter and for bread to eat,
And never live until they die.
Then let the servant Church arise,
A caring Church that longs to be
A partner in Christ’s sacrifice,
And clothed in Christ’s humanity.
We have no mission but to serve
In full obedience to our Lord:
To care for all, without reserve,
And spread his liberating Word.’
Let us let the love and light of Jesus shine through our lives for justice and help us to stand alongside the vulnerable and support and care for them as Jesus did. This is the day that the Lord has made and we rejoice and are glad in it.