Writing this just after the terrible terrorist incidents in France and Belgium I am at a loss for words. These people are motivated by (they say) an extreme form of religion I find hard, nay impossible, to comprehend. I will not grace their beliefs by saying what form of extreme religion they claim to follow since they bring it into a disrepute it does not deserve. I do not recognize a god who tells you to murder innocent people because they hold different views. They represent no religion that I know and the world must be careful that such unholy acts do not start a “them” and “us” demarcation where none really exists.
The God I know – or perhaps, better to say, try to understand – teaches us through His Son to “turn the other cheek” and embrace those who hate us. This, admittedly, is a very hard thing to do but it is an aspirational thought as we journey on our road of faith. Our faith should cause no offence or harm to others.
Lent is a good time to try to understand our faith a little better and we shall, as in previous years, be following a lent course to help us with this task. I have, in past years, put something together myself but I thought it was time for a change; and I have come across what I think is an interesting study book. It is called “Transformed by the presence of Jesus” by Liz Babbs, who is a Christian writer and comedian (honest!) who has performed, among other places, at the Edinburgh Fringe. Her ministry is endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and if you want to know more she has her own website with more information. Just put Liz Babbs into a search engine.
She explores how meeting Jesus during His earthly ministry, as reported in the Gospels, completely changed people. We will, as usual, meet in the Cantelupe Centre on Wednesday evenings from 7.30pm and I promise we shall be finished by 8.50pm. Listen out for Sunday notices for more info.
And now a very advanced notice – I am very pleased to announce that Bishop Alastair has agreed to come to St. Mary’s Church to take a Confirmation Service. This will be a deanery affair but St. Mary’s is hosting. This will be on Monday October 12th at 7.30pm.
After Easter I will be holding a Confirmation Course for anyone interested in learning more about our Christian faith. Those people can then go on to be Confirmed in our church.