And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.
In times of elections, such as the current one in the USA. Or when government decisions loom as large as they do at the moment – the word ‘elect’ feels connected to winners and losers. In the chapel at Westcott House, where I trained for the priesthood, there is a large stark white East wall, uninterupted but for an icon of Christ holding the scripture open to a passage from the Gospel according to John which states: ‘You did not choose me, but I chose you.’ It was a reminder that God knows each one of us and elects, or chooses, each one of us to live with him in eternal life.
Of course living in eternal life, isn’t just something that starts when we die. Eternal life is something that we can begin living now – it is the opportunity to live life to it’s full, trusting in God’s love to keep us through the hard times.
All Souls and Remembrance Sunday are always poignant moments in our annual calendar, as we remember loved ones.
As we mourn and pray for those who mourn. This year, in the midst of a pandemic, as we head into a second lock down,
with an increasing number of people who have died in the last year this season is all the more poignant. The importance of remembering and praying for those who have died and those who mourn is all the more important.
In our limited understanding of death, as Christians, we believe that those who die continue, that they will be resurrected, that they are joined together with us all in the glorious and mysterious body of Christ. And that they join us at this feast every time we share in it. We mourn them and pray for those who mourn. But we also remember that their death is not the end. That their departure is not a disaster, it is not their destruction, but that they are at peace.
God chooses each one of us by name and Jesus comes to us to reveal God’s Kingdom, to reveal that living in God’s eternal life we can abide with God in love because grace and mercy are upon us. As children of God we are called to be salt and light in the midst of a tumultuous and paranoid world. To give spiritual respite to those who are distressed and to those who are warn out. But that is no easy task and we too will find ourselves distressed and paranoid and warn out.
Therefore, as we pray for those who are with Christ, they pray for us and for our world. We join with them in looking for that day when Christ will lift us all up. In the mean time we can remember that we too abide in that same love that those who have gone before us are fortunate enough to have realised in God’s kingdom. Be comforted that we have each been chosen by God to receive his gift of grace and mercy. And that God is with us.
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
John 20:19-end Thomas the TwinWeekly Services Sunday Mornings 8.00am Morning Prayer in the lady chapel10.00am Parish Eucharist with choir and Sunday School Weekday Services Christian Meditation Wednesdays at 9.10amSaid Eucharist on Wednesdays at 11.00amEvening...
Mark 13:24-37 'But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.' Oh that this year would end. Oh that God would come down and smite Coronavirus. Then maybe everybody would see that God answers our...
Of course, any family walk is often punctuated with the question of ‘where are we going?’ or ‘are we there yet? Both these questions highlight the need we have to know to have some vision of the end of what we are doing.
In the midst of a year which has been full of disappointment and challenges. Suffering and grieving. It is perhaps not surprising, in the midst of all these challenges, that the results of the election in the United States has resulted in a sense of release causing people there to run into the streets dancing and singing.