Church of England Diocese of Bath & Wells Portbury

Sunday 19/07/20

19 Jul 2020, midnight
From_the_Vicar

Click here for Nick's video message

Rm 8 v 12-25

Life law flesh or spirit & creation needs setting free from slavery to freedom in the spirit

Mt 13 v 24-30,36-43
Tares in amongst the wheat + explanation

In the name of. . .it’s good to be back trying to understand

what God is saying to us in the present very different times!

A question Is your glass half full or half empty

either way it is in just the same state! It is just a matter of our

perception.

So lets ask Jesus what He has to say about Covid 19?

First Creation is perfect but we need to read the makers

manual (the Bible) - and if you choose to play with fire keep

an extinguisher handy! I don’t think He (God) would say don’t

play with fire after all, it is vital to keep warm in the cold etc.

And in the context of Covld-19 - what ever it is and wherever

it came from, is not the the right question - since life is about

learning all about creation and remembering that when God

looked at it on completion He said its blooming marvellous

(Gen 1 v31).

So where does the story of the wheat and the tares come in

in this context? It gets me to read Ch 2 of Genesis again, it

has much to say about the devil rotting up the relationship

between men and women and creation.

In this story told by Jesus, it is an enemy that is causing the problems of life and that ripping up

the weeds might do even more harm to the wheat! The weeds planted by the enemy will be dealt

with at the harvest time (= the end of time). The problem is that the weeds can take the very

valuable water that the wheat needs and in the Middle East, water is a most valuable commodity.

Water is essential for life.

Second We cannot escape life in a world without weeds. These could be seen as being the

equivalent of the misuse of our free will. We have the choice of listening to and following the devil

(Gen 2) The good news is that in learning to resist the blandishments of the devil we will be

strengthened. Metals are strengthened by heat treatment! It may not always be comfortable being

strengthened but what athlete ever won a race without very demanding training - to quote my

friends in the Royal Marines - No gain with out pain and I can only say from personal experience I

have learnt much more from my mistakes than from my success’s.Elsewhere in Romans 5 v3&4

Paul says suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character

produces hope. This does not mean that God arranges disasters but that with God the devil is

kicked into second place and we will develop resilience.

All this is a way to look at the current crisis. The tragedy is that so many have been hurt by lives

cut prematurely short or left with damaged lungs, and even where death has not been the end

result, many many more lives have been turned up side down, redundancies, lost income,

education interrupted - the list is endless. The devil doesn’t care. God does care He is love and

love cares:and in the longer sweep of history God wins; ‘cos God’s active ongoing creation cannot

be stopped.

But I want to close reflecting on a picture. We have had time to stop, time to reflect on what we

want: many have found that working from home some or all of the time is not just possible but

better - no more crowded or worse cancelled public transport, just think of the time spent

commuting that can be turned to better use. Yes we can stop and smell the roses, instead of

elbowing our way on to a crowded bus and not worrying about fighting our way home at the end of

the day.