Keep in Touch: 6th September 2020

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6th September 2020

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

The Gospel reading we will focus on today (Luke 10.1-11) does not record the reaction of the seventy people Jesus sent out. There are many occasions elsewhere in the Bible, when we hear about God speaking into a person’s life, and leaving the audience dumbfounded. Were there any of these seventy who were so astonished that Jesus would ask them to do such a thing, they couldn’t find the words to say? Did any of them protest and say it was a bad time for them, their children were just starting school, they had commitments at the golf club, they were simply too tired? If that had happened, it is not recorded – all we know is that the seventy were sent out in pairs.
We also know nothing of who they were – ages, gender, background, qualifications are all unknown. And that is, I believe, deliberate, because the Gospel writers realise all of that is irrelevant. Just because the world says somebody is or is not qualified, has no bearing on how God sees us.

The information we are given though, is of the instructions Jesus gave. He wants those he sends out to rely completely on God, not on anything people normally rely on like having money in your pocket, or a planned itinerary. God is providing all that is necessary to equip his mission. So he doesn’t need to find candidates to apply for the job who have a particular background or experience. He doesn’t need to ensure there are the resources in the bank account before embarking on this project. Those are worldly preoccupations, and not of God.
God’s mission is to share his kingdom with the world. In order for his kingdom to grow, God’s priorities, and not the world’s, need to be uppermost.

That is why the conversation on entering a house was to be not especially about the weather or the political situation, but about peace – God’s peace. Because God’s mission is to share indicators of his kingdom wherever his people find themselves. The key sign of the God’s kingdom is God’s peace, Shalom. God’s peace comes through Jesus, and that Shalom peace is the source of healing and wholeness.

That is not only what the seventy were called to over 2,000 years ago – it is what we are called to today, as followers of Jesus in Blacon. And the same principles apply. Let us have the confidence to know God wants to use us – ALL of us (regardless of age, ability, background, experience, how long we have or have not been a Christian) and to send us out into the places he chooses to send us to. He knows where that will be, when that will be, and how that will happen. He will provide all that is necessary, if we will rely on him to provide it, to share the Shalom peace of his kingdom wherever we go in his name.

For our part, we must learn to trust him to provide. To provide the time, the energy, the words to say, the ability to speak up, all that is necessary to tell others what we know of God’s kingdom. He will also – if we ask him – provide us with the insight to be able to work out who is or who is not a person of God’s peace, a person it is worthwhile spending time with. Because Jesus warns us not to waste our time and energy on people who do not want to share in God’s peace. For there is a rich harvest of people who want to know God, and the labourers are few.

Tina Upton

Readings for Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity:

  • Psalm 30
  • Isaiah 66.10-14
  • Galatians 6.1-10
  • Luke 10:1-11

Holy Trinity Blacon are the living church of our living God, and we continue to be at work here! If you are able, do check the parish website (especially the Coronavirus Support page) or our Facebook page (holytrinityblacon) for updates.

SUNDAY WORSHIP We meet for worship at Holy Trinity Church at 9.30am each Sunday from now on. Everyone will need to wear a face covering (unless exempt). If you have a cough or are feeling unwell, please do not come to church. The church will remain open for a while on Sunday morning, for private prayer after the service is over.

MINIBUS The minibus will be providing lifts to church on Sunday mornings for those who need them, from 6th September. If you would like to have a lift, please contact the parish office or Tina Upton.

JOIN US FOR EVENING PRAYER every Wednesday at 5pm via Zoom. This will continue for the foreseeable future. If you are not on the internet, it is possible to join us over the telephone – please contact us in advance if you would like to do that.

DAILY HOPE is a free phone line for hymns, prayers and reflections – 0800 804 8044

KEEPING IN TOUCH We will continue to produce these weekly letters. Please collect your letter when you attend church.

CHURCH ELECTORAL ROLL Before our Parish Annual meeting in a few weeks’ time, we need to need to revise our Electoral Roll (the list of church members). If you want to check your entry, please contact Linda in the parish office, or else consult the copy in the church. Forms for alterations or additions are also available in the church.

PRAYING FOR BLACON Louise and Tina are taking our exercise particularly along those streets we are praying for each week. Do join us in praying for those residents. This week we pray for: Hatton Road, Pulford Road, Leaside Road, Fernhill Road.

FOR YOUR DIARY On Saturday 3rd October Louise will be ordained priest at the cathedral (with very limited attendance), but there will be a special service more can attend in church 9.30am on Sunday 4th October. More details will follow as soon as we know them.