Church of England Diocese of Leeds St. John the Evangelist Hipswell

'Resilience' - emerging from traumatic life experiences. Sermon 3 of 6: 'Reframing'..

Welcome to St Cuthbert's, Colburn, for this the third of a 6-sermon series reflecting on how we might understand, and grow in, resilience, as we emerge from the worst of the current Covid-19 pandemic. Drawing on Australian author and theologian Meg Warner's recently-published book, 'Joseph', we explore certain factors - revealed by recent research - which appear to indicate that some individuals may have a greater propensity for developing resilient behaviour than others. Joseph, the Old Testament character, whose life story is recorded in Genesis, is a complex individual. His ability to emerge, repeatedly, from traumatic life events, is legendary. How much of that, though, is due to his innate entrepreneurial flair, and how much to the hand of YHWH (the God of his forebears) on his life, is a matter of ongoing debate. This week, we examine the concept of 'Reframing' - how telling our own story from a different perspective helps us to 'move on' and to grow resilience. For Christians, there is additional strength in those stories when we choose to recount them within the backdrop of the greater divine story of our redemption, forgiveness and restoration - only made possible because of God's unconditional love for us, made most powerfully evident in Christ's offering of himself in love upon the Cross. So how important is resilience? How might we got about developing it? How do we ensure that our focus remains on Jesus Christ, rather than simply on 'bounce back', as a goal in its own right?