Kia ora All Saints whanau
This week in the life of the Anglican Province we are celebrating two different days together; Te Pouhere Sunday and Disability Awareness Day. These two days together create a beautiful expression of what it means to celebrate and engage with our diversity. The theme of moving from being “them and us” to being “us together” weaves together Te Pouhere and Disability Awareness through the concept of becoming united in our diversity. Our differences can strengthen our communities, our faith and the expressions of our faith.
There is a strong theme in our readings this week of going beyond our comfort zones, seeing a new way and learning to love each other through the differences. In John 15:9-17 Jesus speaks about no greater love than laying down one’s life for one’s friends. Jesus commands us to love. We are to love each other by doing so in a way that goes beyond our own interests and seek to put ourselves in another’s shoes. Seeing things in a new way, loving others and reconciliation is not easy. It is, however, fundamental to our faith in Christ.
If you would like to engage in more resources around Te Pouhere Sunday and Disability awareness Sunday please click the link below.
We have a new sermon series starting next week called “A Kingdom of…” where we explore one of Jesus' most famous sermons, the sermon on the mount, looking in particular at what are famously called the beatitudes. Let us begin to prepare ourselves by starting to consider who Jesus is talking to, what sort of Kingdom Jesus is announcing, what does it mean for his hearers then and now and how do we see God in the face of Jesus?
I have been reading the novel “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S Lewis to my girls each evening and I recall the conversation between the siblings and Mr and Mrs beavers where the children are told about Aslan and assume Mr Beaver is talking about a person and when it is revealed that Aslan is, in fact, a lion. Lucy, the youngest, becomes afraid and asks if he is safe. Mr Beaver chuckles a wee bit and says “Safe! Of course he isn’t safe. He is a lion. But he is good! ” We can think about this statement as we think about what it means to give our lives fully to Christ and embrace all that Christ is calling us to. The act of giving our lives to Christ pulls us out of our comfort zones and challenges us to see new ways that we should go about loving others and practicing reconciliation (which by the way looks like putting yourself in the middle of a group of people who in that present moment do not get along). Is it going to be safe! Probably not. But it is going to be good!
I pray this week that God will continue to help us see the Kingdom breaking through in our communities and that we have stories to share of the great things that God is doing amongst us.
A reminder to check out the things that are coming up at All Saints over the next week while, particularly the Matariki working bee and intergenerational dinner.
Much love in Christ,