Messages from around the Benefice

Today’s message from Lyndon. I have had to accept everything that has happened to our nation, to our world over the past weeks regarding coronavirus. I have listened to the scientists, and have done exactly what I have been told. I am self- isolating; I am doing all that is expected of me. I am a model citizen. However, as an Anglican priest I was saddened to see the churches closed, especially on this the most holy season in the churches year, and at a time when the church needs to be open for people to pray, need to be given spiritual comfort when they may be grieving or afraid for themselves or for their loved ones.
The church buildings need to be closed to curtail the advance of this deadly killer. I accept all the advice and argue with none of it. However, a thought has come into my mind, and I am struggling with it. Why would God allow His holy places to close at such a calamitous time? Why does He allow His church to be closed, when we are under such great peril? Of course the church is not closed down, our leaders and members are as active as ever, but the public do identify the church, with the building they see down the road, the place that they pass every day. Andrew Palmer.”And on your first point isn’t it fantastic that we assemble as the body still albeit on zoom – the buildings are the cherry on the cake but the people are the church
Yesterday, I received two messages from Christian friends, one a parish priest who was a great influence on my ministry, on my life. The second from a lay friend, a lady, who also has been a great help to me. The former sends a prophetic message given by a famous Christian author, famous in the 1960’s, who prophesied that such a time as now would come. I stress that in the prophecy it was not God who engineered it, but that it was a warning that such a time would arrive. The latter sent a passage of scripture telling of God’s desire to heal.
In both these messages we find the word repentance, which means being full of remorse, saying sorry to God, but what have we got to repent about? This may not be personal repentance, but repentance for our society. So what is on our repentance inventory?
Unfortunately, I suspect this could be a long list. How often do we hear, the third commandment broken, the one about taking the Lord’s name in vain. Today, Our Lord’s name is so often being used as a swear word. How many of our so called comedians, mock our faith, mock our church mock our Lord, and we Christians just accept this. Christianity is seen as an easy target, not because we turn the other cheek, but because we just grin and bear it. Notice, the above seldom have the courage to attack other faiths. We have come to believe that those who run our media have high moral standards, which so often is not true. We watch, read and listen to things that are contrary to God’s teaching.
In today’s society do we keep the Lord’s Day as a holy day, keeping the second of God’s commandments? I know that because of work commitments this can be difficult, but we can still find time to be with God.
In this material world that we live in, temptations are put in our way encouraging us to envy others, thus breaking the last commandment.
When a church leader is interviewed on our televisions it is more often to answer questions about politics or social agendas than it is to do with Jesus. Many of these issues are of course important and need discussion, but they are not the most important issue. People need to know about Christ crucified, and Christ resurrected.
Do we put other things before God, and make excuses to ourselves when we do? Is there sometimes pride in our hearts when we think our church, or tradition is better than that of other Christians? Are we too judgemental? Do we get to self-centred and not enough God-centred.
I am writing this because I feel there is something wicked in this plague that is engulfing our world, yet at the same time bringing out the best in so many people. I am not disagreeing with the expertise of our scientists, but I have found in ministry that there are things in our life experience that goes far beyond the understanding of human science.
Notice, I am not excluding myself from anyone else. I believe we are all in the same boat, we are all part of the same society. I am not knocking anyone, having a go at anyone, but just writing what I have read in Scripture, and what others are telling me, and what I am being asked. I know we ask forgiveness in church, I know that we are forgiven. Perhaps, the problem is we don’t stand firm enough for our beliefs. Some may not agree with me, and that’s fine, I am just honestly writing down what I feel and what is puzzling me.
This is the scripture that my friend sent to me. Read it and pray about it. Please let me know your thoughts. In your prayer ask God to remove this evil that is causing death and misery to so many.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land”
2 Chronicles 7:14

Linda Batt “Thank you once again Lyndon, for giving voice to what has been in my thoughts, prayers and on my heart. I hope I’ve addressed some of this in some of my reflections. Please never stop, your words of wisdom confront and challenge us to question ourselves and what we proclaim. God Bless you ,Keep the faith, keep praying and keep save. God Bless.

Mary Kinchin “Thank you Lyndon. I have asked some of these same questions myself. It is our habit here to write down each day who or what we are praying for/about; that way we can look at it several times during the day . Why I am wondering did I only write on Tuesday 15th April in large letters across the page…ARE ”WE” LISTENING TO JESUS ?