I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
Alongside the increasing respect for the amazing work of Healthcare workers, parent friends of mine up and down the country are acknowledging how much more respect they now have for teachers, having tried to take on a bit of this role with children at home. Of course the nature of schooling is completely different at home – there is more independent learning, more dependance on what happens to be there, and on the knowledge base of an individual’s parents.
One of the subjects is obviously RE. I say obviously, but growing up in Canada my first experience of RE was as a trainee priest visiting a school. Faith and religion were only taught as part of an understanding of history and geography. But even if RE is taught in schools,
teaching of faith has always been significantly situated in the home, alongside the church, as one generation teaches the next. And as subjects go, faith is something we never stop learning about. Understanding our own faith is a life long effort as it develops and transforms. In the current lock-down the personal nature of our faith, the need to develop and nurture our own faith, and the faith of our children, in our homes has become all the more relevant.
Today’s Gospel reading comes from the teaching Jesus is giving to the disciples at the last supper. He has washed their feet, showing them the love he has for them and setting the example of the servant for them. Jesus is trying to encourage the disciples not to feel disheartened in the events to come. He reassures the disciples that death is not the end. And the disciples, confused as they are, and probably feeling a bit upset about being told Jesus is about to be betrayed and killed. They are going to have to take responsibility for their own development in understanding God, and they feel desperate to find out what they can from Jesus before he goes. So they start firing off questions:
‘How can we know the way?’
‘Show us the Father?’
They are desperate to learn as much as possible before he goes. But Jesus reassures them again, that they have all that they need to know God, because they have known him. If they need to know what God is like they need to look to who Jesus is, what he did, how he behaved, to understand who God is. God is compassionate, loving and kind. Honest and Just but merciful.
The act of foot washing only moments before this passage in John’s Gospel is meant to be an example of what God is like and how the disciples can learn to be nearer to God, full of overflowing grace which have been seen in deeds of power. Jesus reassures them that he will provide for them, that they can be assured of his ongoing love for them, through which they will be able to do far more than they could imagine.
And so we should be reassured now that in God we can do far more than we could imagine. That in this time of isolation, we know God through Jesus
The Reverend Robin Sims-Williams
8.00am Morning Prayer in the lady chapel
10.00am Parish Eucharist with choir and Sunday School
Christian Meditation Wednesdays at 9.10am
Said Eucharist on Wednesdays at 11.00am
Monday through Thursday at 5.30pm
Please note that Public worship has been suspended, you can therefore participate in these services via Facebook live stream
I was struck by the favourite movies people sent in for this week’s newsletter.
I learned early on that I couldn’t rely on my own brilliance, even if I couldn’t admit it to anybody else, I admitted it to myself and to God.
I don’t know about all of you, but I’ve found this week quite difficult. I find it difficult to focus and think straight.
Those times where we were met as we arrrived, welcomed into the event, put at peace, helped to know what was happening, what was expected, were by far the easiest events to make the most of.