2nd July 2017

A Thought       

I’ve recently been reading a book about the Orthodox martyrs of this past century. Some of these martyrs had truly gruesome deaths. The Orthodox church is tied closely to the country it ministers in (like the Church of England) it often uses that relationship to bring forth Christian values. Sadly, in places like Russia and Austria and other countries in the continent of Europe there have been attacks on the churches while those in political power tried to rewrite the narrative of their church state relationship. We can go back to the Reformation and the great Sir Thomas More who, from the scaffold stated, “I am the kings good servant but God’s first.” Then he lost his head. We are in a time of change and challenge but as the state church we have an opportunity to be the moral conscience for the country. That doesn’t mean we must always condemn the present world with all its richness and goodness and diversity. The image of a half drunken uncle comes to mind who mourns the passing of the good old days when everything was perfect – think honestly has there ever been a ‘good old day’? The world is imperfect and broken but we Christians are called by God to serve, worship and bring people back to knowledge of His divine love for all peoples. So as we look at changes in our parishes and our diocese may we always remember that we , you and me, are called here and now to be Martyrs – witnesses to God’s amazing grace and love for all people. May we died to self and live in the light, love, and faith of the God who calls each of us to serve in our own situation – all for His glory. Amen!!

May you all have a very good week, with my love and prayers.

Stephen Monk