Dear sisters and brothers
As always I pray for you. I know some of our families have children returning to nursery or school in the next week. Some of us may have been shielding, and may be tentatively leaving the house for the first time. Some of us may be excited about the potential of getting ‘back to normal’ (whatever that may mean!), others of us may be worried. There will be many mixed emotions: I pray that you will all know God’s peace.
In a time of intense global news, I am sure that none of us have failed to be moved by the events in America, the death of George Floyd, and the subsequent outpouring of cries for justice, equity and awareness. Events have escalated and reminded us that this was never an issue just for America, but for us all. It is not just a ‘black’ or ‘white’ issue, it is for us all.
The weekly chat that Laura and I shared this week offers some of our immediate thoughts and reactions to how we are individually feeling, and how we want to move in a new direction. I know I have a lot to learn about white privilege. If anyone wants to join me in this journey of discovery, perhaps through a shared reading experience, or conversation, I would be really pleased. Let me know.
There is a beautiful passage in the bible, in the book of Micah, chapter 6 verse 8: “what does the Lord require of you but to act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”. Here, the prophet is deeply concerned with the social issues of his day: we might interchange the words to be justice, kindness, humility, but we must not lose the “and”. Justice AND mercy AND walking humbly with God. This is what God requires of us. This is not passive, watching from the side, hoping that someone will ensure something is done to make sure there is justice. We are required to act with justice and to be passionate about mercy, and to walk closely with God. This isn’t a spectator sport.
If we truly believe that Jesus came to bring life in all its fullness, this means life in a spirit of abundancy. This doesn’t mean that we have everything, or even that we have everything sorted, but as I read recently “the spirit of abundancy is a celebration of possibility”. This means there is open ended potential for change, for growth, and that this promise is for everyone. This means we don’t rely on our own resources, our own strength, or our own measure of justice, mercy or love. It is through the life transforming power and love of God in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit that we will have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts that love. This week is Trinity Sunday, and a reminder that we are invited to be part of this relationship, God reaching out to each one of us. We are invited to live lives in the light of this power and love.
This is a whole of life attitude. God has called us to be His church in this time, in this place. That is the only privilege I want to reflect to the world.
With the love of Christ, as ever
Rev Becky Waring
Vicar St Martins Knowle
<span style="font-size: 1rem;">Area Dean Bristol South</span><span style="font-size: 1rem;"> </span>