Rector's Monthly Letter September 2017

Dear Friends

I have to confess that I’ve been struggling a little to decide on a theme for this letter. There didn’t seem to be a seasonal hook to hang it on. That thought led me to considering Ordinary Time and the absence therein of the festivals we enjoy so much. Not just the festivals themselves, but the anticipation and preparation for Easter and Christmas and the celebrations that follow. I then found myself thinking that Ordinary Time – well it’s a bit boring. Which is when I pulled myself up short!

Ordinary Time is how the church describes those weeks outside of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter etc and occupies approximately 27 weeks of the year – over half of it in fact. That begged the question – am I not very stimulated by my faith for the better part of the year? Well that can’t be right, can it? Surely, our faith is what upholds and sustains us through our lives, especially during the ordinary times, when there’s not much going on, or when the pressures we encounter every day start to get the better of us. When we are struggling with family or work problems, when our health is not as good as it could be, when what used to be the simplest of tasks and decisions are now a real struggle. Surely that’s when our faith and trust in the Lord and his purposes makes the difference.

Much easier to say than to live I agree. So, let’s approach this another way. Ordinary Time, or steady state actually is a time to celebrate. To celebrate the fact that we are children of our heavenly Father, who loves us with an everlasting love, through whose Son we are redeemed. We could use this time to put ourselves through a spiritual MOT asking how healthy is my spiritual life, is there anything I can do to improve it and am I living faithfully as a child of God? Each one of us has a responsibility to ourselves, a responsibility to others and a responsibility to our community. But in order to be able to live up to those responsibilities we need to be rooted and established in the love of Christ, as it says in Ephesians

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:16-19).

Like a tree we need strong roots if we are going to be able to reach out effectively without falling over or breaking. We need to be rooted and strengthened in God's love, so that we can in turn love without bounds, expecting nothing in return for our actions.

With love in Christ