Genesis 24: 34-38, 42-49, 58-end; Psalm 45: 10-end; Romans 7: 15-25
Gospel: Matthew 11: 16-19, 25-end
Jesus’ ‘reproach of the cities’
In today’s Gospel, Matthew calls this Jesus’ ‘reproach of the cities’. That’s basically just a nicer way of saying that Jesus is pretty annoyed and he’s telling them how it is. The lectionary actually omits this section. We don’t much like ‘reproach’. We don’t like it in our lives and we don’t like it in our scriptures. Most would rather skip quickly on to the good part that part about the humble and gentle Jesus who we think is going to make life easy for us. But we need to hear these words of reproach. They are important words, so I commend you to read the whole of the reading Matthew 16: 1-30. Reproach in Jesus is not rejection. It is the other side of care and concern. I wonder what Jesus would say to us today as individuals, as a Charge, as a Nation. Are we different from Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum? How have we responded to Christ and his Gospel?
Our imminent change to Pro Cathedral in September
This week I have had 4 meetings via the Zoom app, all of which have been connected to our imminent change to Pro Cathedral in September. It would be misleading to say that everything is slotting easily into place. I am acutely aware that this transition will throw up many challenges, both for us at St Mary’s and for everyone at the Cathedral Church of St Andrew’s. These challenges are being met head on and I am deeply humbled by the determination of everyone involved from both St Mary’s and St Andrew’s to ensure we can reach unanimous agreement on all of the areas we have discussions about. I promise to keep everyone updated as future developments take place.
I am currently compiling a risk assessment to be submitted to Bishop Anne for approval in order to allow St Mary’s to open up for a few hours on specified days of the week for private prayer. There is much to consider and do before I can officially open the doors so please be patient as the Vestry and I work to make this happen. At the time of writing this I have received guidance from the Province on the forthcoming phase three ‘return to church’ document for the SEC. The full guideline, which will be published next week, will heavily influence the decision to open our doors, and when I say ‘open our doors’ please understand this to be a tentative and dynamic description of how we intend to move forward. There will be many things to observe if we are to allow people into our Churches to pray and indeed to worship. We will not rush into anything, and as Clergy, we are not being pressurised to do so. Together with the Vestry of St Mary’s, it is my desire that when we begin to allow people back in, it is within an environment that is as safe and sterile as we can possibly make it.
Some of you have very kindly sent me cheques/envelopes for your weekly giving donations. I would encourage others who may be saving their envelopes up until a full return to normal Sunday services, to consider making a direct payment into St Mary’s Church bank account. I can provide the necessary details if you contact me on the details below. If that method is not suitable and you would still like to contribute your envelopes, or make a donation, again, just contact me and I can make alternative arrangements to pick it up. Your continued support is so very much appreciated in these trying times.
Our ‘Zoom Breakfast’ resumes on Sunday at 10 am and I look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible. Should you wish to join us, please contact me on the details below and I shall let you have all of the access details you will require. The reasons why I don’t publish those details on this document are twofold; (a) This document is put onto the Face book social Website which is accessible by anyone, anywhere, (b) We can negate the possibility of anyone who would join us for more nefarious reasons.
Be ye our angel unawares
If after Kirk ye bide a wee,
There’s some would like to speak to ye,
If after Kirk ye rise and flee
We’ all seem cauld and still to ye.
The one that’s in the seat with ye
Is stranger here than ye, maybe.
All here have got their fears and cares,
Add ye your soul unto our prayers,
Be ye our angel unawares?
Fr Terry Taggart