It all begins here – Vicar’s weekly thought

It all begins here

At our Annual Meeting today we celebrate all that God has done this year at and through Ascension, and cast our minds and spirits forwards toward what kind of thing He may be calling us to as we press on. But we’ll also recall where it starts – one way or another it is always through our individual encounters with Jesus.

We’ll hear the full story of the 2 on the Emmaus Road, moving from the great sadness ‘written across their faces’ [1] , through recognizing Jesus was actually with them, to excitement and an urgent late return to Jerusalem to tell the others! But notice how when they get there they find He has appeared to Peter already, and the story carries on to describe Jesus coming among all of them even as the 2 are speaking. Vital – it all begins here! But it doesn’t end there by any means! Peter, much later in life, reminds the believers: ‘Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.’[2] Those early Christians had to grow and mature, in joy, in resilience, in faith, in hope, in acceptance they were forgiven, and above all in love for each other – truly deep love. Bishop Graham Cray recently wrote, ‘Openness to the leading of the Spirit requires deep roots in the ways of the Spirit in the Church’[3] – he was speaking about being empowered by meeting with Christ himself through the Holy Spirit, but also then discerning the ways to grow in our mission by the Spirit’s leading. As you look to your future in Christ, will you continue to want to meet Him, but also commit yourself to hearing the ways of the Holy Spirit for the future?

[1] Luke 24.17 [2] 1 Peter 1.21 [3] An open letter to ReSource (the Anglican group seeking renewal for Mission)