Sunday 20th November

After a long journey through 1 Corinthians this year, we come to the final chapter today.  (Some of you will be relieved!) Chapter 16 provides an interesting snapshot of practical ministry activities in the very early church.

I hope you will also engage with the other scriptures we read in our service.  The short reading from Luke’s gospel contains another interesting interaction between Jesus and the Pharisees.  It is easy to think of Pharisees as “bad guys”, since in their legalism they often opposed Jesus. But these Pharisees warned Jesus to run for his life from Herod. They wanted to help him. Although Jesus did not take their advice, it is a good reminder that life is rarely as simple as good guys and bad guys.  A favourite podcaster of mine is fond of quoting Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s saying that “the dividing line between good and evil runs straight through the human heart”.  That insight is deeply imbued with Christianity.  It means that everyone is redeemable, and that everyone needs redeeming.  There is only one Redeemer – the Lord Jesus Christ.

Last Sunday’s Hymn Fest and Music on the Lawn was a fantastic event, blessed by God with great weather and a wonderful atmosphere. Special thanks to the organisers.

Unfortunately, today’s Choral Evensong has had to be cancelled due to COVID cases amongst our choristers.

We’re now focussing clearly on Christmas.  Next week is Advent Sunday, which is four Sundays from Christmas.  The Carols and Christmas Market is our first Christmas event, on Sunday 11th December from 3pm. Christmas letterbox drops are coming soon!

Andrew Schmidt