Reflection on this Sundays readings – Luke 10: 1-9
Today we remember St Luke – the writer of the gospel and of Acts, a doctor and a companion of St Paul.
Jesus – in the reading – talks about a plentiful harvest but few labourers. We remembered our Harvest last week, but I suspect we would say that the spiritual harvest at the moment feels more barren, the ground stonier and more full of weeds, to borrow from a well-known parable.
That does not mean we are not called and sent out into the “harvest” – like Luke we should be evangelists, bringers of good news, and like Luke, who tried to write for a non-Jewish Mediterranean audience, not a Jewish readership living in Judea, we have to try and find ways to express our faith that will make sense.
And ours is not a triumphant mission of status and importance, but a journey where we gently seek welcome, and where we hope our words and our actions/attitude/character speak of the grace and love of God. We know it when we see it come to us, may we also offer that same grace to others, in our praying, our speaking, our listening and our doing.
Thank you to everyone who donated food to Urban Outreach – we have taken several bags of food to their depot, where it is very gratefully received. Thank you also to all who gave to Christian Aid – do please continue to remember the needy in other parts of the world, even if our news is mostly taken up with politics and Covid.
St Anne’s with St James’ APCM
Next Sunday, 25th will be our Annual Meeting – held in St Anne’s Church from 11.45 and straight after the morning service. Even if you can’t get to church please do come to the meeting – there is space in the gallery for you to remain covid secure. We will be electing our wardens, several places on the Church Council and also our Deanery Synod representatives. It is a chance to take stock of the past year and also to highlight the challenges for the coming year.
It is not too late to put yourself forward, nor to ask questions or raise issues.
Diocesan Mission Communities
Some will have read the recent document on potential parish groupings into Mission Communities. We are told that there will be a full consultation and a chance for people to comment in the New Year. We will keep everyone up to date – we realise that the document is quite unsettling in the suggestion put forward.
It is however a reminder that change is going to have to happen, and faster and more radically than many of us will be comfortable with. Deanery Synod reps will be important voices in this process; please pray for wisdom for all who are involved and especially those who are leading the process.
St Luke was an extraordinary person – not someone who knew Jesus in life, but someone whose life was changed through his spiritual encounter with God, and by the Holy Spirit. He does not put himself forward but we know he became a loyal and supportive friend to Paul – how important the gift of friendship is at any point in life but particularly when times are hard. He sought to write a clear exposition of the good news of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, drawing on Mark’s gospel, expanding it and including other material as well. Many think he had links to Mary as she is such a key figure in the early chapters. Our challenge is how we might share our faith, explain it, help others understand and receive it, in our context.
And Luke was also a physician, a doctor, interested in health and healing and concerned for the sick. And so it is important that today we remember and pray for our doctors – the senior leaders who guide on policy and seek to track the current and future path of the virus, develop a vaccine and who have responsibility for signing off on decisions; for our doctors and nurses and other staff who are facing increased numbers of patients, and a backlog of operations, and frustrated families. In memory of St Luke, let us pray for our medics and for doctors and medical staff all around the world; let us pray for those who share the gospel, and that we too may share our faith, and let us pray that we will be good friends, good companions especially to those who most need us at this time.
And may we, like Luke, also know for ourselves the saving love of Jesus, the new life in God’s Spirit, and the assurance that we are children of God by adoption, and so heirs of his promises, and may we rejoice. In the words of Mary, recorded in Luke may we also pray:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour”
Rev’d Peter Reiss: 16th Oct 2020