Listening to the Body of Christ

by | Jan 27, 2019

Luke 4:14-21

Jesus reveals himself as the fulfilment of Prophecy


In October 1987 Anita Hart rang the BBC, her son was studying meteorology and believed that a hurricane was on it’s way. Concerned to get a second opinion she rang and asked to speak to somebody in the weather department who quickly told her not to be so ridiculous. Michael Fish, BBC weatherman that evening, introduced the weather by saying, ‘a lady rang the BBC this afternoon asking if there was a hurrricane on it’s way.’ With a certain wiff of a patronising tone Fish added, ‘you really have nothing to be worried about.’ Of course a deadly hurricane did strike the next day causing vast amounts of damage.


How easy it is to ignore those we don’t think know anything, or who we assume aren’t experts. Sometimes its difficult to get past the image of somebody as a child, as they do with Jesus, only shortly after this morning’s Gospel reading ends the others in the synagogue comment ‘isn’t this Jesus, Joseph’s son.’ As the conversation continues Jesus is driven out of the synagogue in Nazareth.


There can be a benefit to having a pair of eyes coming in from outside and reflecting on a situation. But, for example, I’ve only been here 15 months, some of you have been here your whole lives. Whether you have been here a couple of days or a couple of decades, we each have insights. 


The survey / suggestion box we had out and which was also available online only garnered 14 responses, 
which isn’t enough for us to really feel we have considered what people’s views are. In your service sheets you will find a piece of A5 paper and there are pens, in  a minute I’m going to ask you to answer two questions and put your answers on the paper. I will collect them up after and communicate the responses.


In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians he highlights that there are different members of the body of Christ, each with different roles, but every one of them is equally valuable. He talks fo gifts of apostles, teachers, prophets, leadership, healing, tongues (prayer) and interpretation. But what are the gifts embodied in this part of Christ’s body – what are the things that make All Saints’ a special place? What was it that made you choose to come here for the first time? What was it that made you come back? What is it that you believe you have to offer, what is it that as you look around see others who are gifted at? Is it the message we have in the Good News? Is it the support and nurture we can offer? Is it the building and the space we have? Is it skills and experience in particular fields?
Is it all the above or none of them? Take a moment and think about what it is that makes All Saints’ special, what we have to offer, and write it down on one side of your paper.


{3 minutes for reflection and writing}


In the synagogue in Nazareth Jesus unrolls the scroll of the prophet Isaiah and reads about Spirit being upon him, about being the Lord’s anointed with specific things to do: ‘Bring good news to the poor.’ ‘Proclaim release to the captives.’
‘Recovery of sight to the blind.’ ‘Let the oppressed go free.’ to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour. So what does that mean for Child’s hill? Who are the poor?
Is it those who don’t have enough to eat? Is it those who are poor in spirit, who are lonely, or rejected by society in some way? Is it the youth? Who are captive, and what is it that entraps them? Is it that they need to be given the opportunity to make new relationships?
Is it that they need a space to gather, to meet? How are we blind? Are there issues of social justice that we should be responding to? Child’s Hill has 4 or 5 significant building projects of various sizes at different stages of development – is housing an issue of social justice we should be  responding to in some way? Take a moment and think about what you think the issues are in this area. And once you’ve written them down, please rank them in terms of what you feel it is most important that we respond to.


{3 minutes}


Now we will collect these up and place them on the altar as an offering of our gifts and our prayers. I will put a poster up summarising the responses in the next week or twos we can pray about them over Lent. The PCC will be having an away day at the beginning of April to begin processing this information and working to think of what our priorities as a community should be, so that we can make the most of the gifts God has given us and we can find the best way of declaring the year of God’s favour to Child’s Hill.


The Reverend Robin Sims-Williams


Weekly Services

Sunday Mornings

8.00am Said Eucharist in the lady chapel
10.00am Parish Eucharist with choir and Sunday School

Weekday Services

Said Eucharist on Wednesdays at 11.00am
Evening Prayer 
Monday through Thursday at 5.30pm

Being alongside the other

Every day we are forced to make judgements. Judging who we spend our time with and what we do.
Often we have methods and tools which help us make those judgements – we make judgements based on what somebody looks like, how they behave, how clean they are.

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