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Letters from Tim

Dear friends,

The gospel for this coming Sunday (Matthew 11:16 – 19, 25 -30) makes reference to one of the criticisms of Jesus that he was a glutton and a drunkard. How did the lectionary know that pubs will be re-opening this very weekend?

Both John the Baptist and Jesus confounded the expectations of their day. They did not fit, they challenged the status quo and the allegiance of everyone. What was normal, what was expected came under the piercing scrutiny of Kingdom values.

So those usually overlooked, marginalised or voiceless are deemed by John and Jesus to be the ones who ‘get it’ who have half a foot in the doorway of the Kingdom. Those who are used to being burdened, and used to having no say, or place, are those who find that being yoked with Jesus is liberating, refreshing and life enhancing.

In our churches we are beginning to wonder how, when and whether we might re-open our buildings again. This will not be a quick process. The work of risk assessment needs to be thorough so that people can be as safe as possible.

We all know what is normal and usual within the life of our church. We know what we like and what we don’t like. As we begin to explore how we are the church post lock down, will we just try to replicate the past? Or might we be prompted to imagine things differently? Many have felt the burdens of responsibilities in the church for many years, might this be the opportunity to lighten the load, or take on something else? Have we found different ways of worship which have fed us? How might we be more participative in our future worship?

Both Jesus and John were shocks to the systems of their day; both brought radical liberation. We have been shocked too and now face opportunities to change and grow as we are led into a liberating future.

Peace

Tim


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