Kia ora All Saints whānau,
It definitely feels like we're in winter - although I'm glad we've escaped the sub-zero temperatures some of the South Island has had. I'm so grateful I can stay indoors and have been thinking of those whose work or living situation puts them in the midst of this weather. I also know of many people in metaphorical bad weather at present and have been praying for you, whether your situation is known to me or not.
This week I've been reflecting on who Jesus is to me, and who he is for our Parish at this point in time. For me personally, Jesus has always been my hope. Hope for myself, those around me, and the world; situations I can't control and those I can but of which I do a poor job. It is so heartening to be reminded that my ministry and work in the world is God's work, with which I have the privilege of joining in, not my own work which I have to strive for to earn my place. My hope is in God, not my own abilities.
The question of who Jesus is at this point in time for our Parish is an intriguing one. I have been so pleased to see many of you at our Mission Action Plan (MAP) sessions and have been enjoying hearing your hopes and dreams for this community. It is great to see what is important to each of you and to see both encouragements and challenges put to the church as it stands at present. There are two more sessions (skipping this weekend) and I really encourage you to come along. Also, have a think on this question for yourself - who is Jesus for our Parish, in our context, right now? If Jesus arrived at our gatherings, what would he say? (Of course Jesus is already there and with us always, but sometimes I find it helpful to picture him physically walking in and seeing his human expressions and body language.) Where would he sit? Who would he chat with? If you have thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them.
Good bless, stay warm in all senses of the word.