Letter from The Rector - March 2020

Enemy of Apathy?

As I begin to plan our retreat this year, and as the school governors think about how we develop our children’s spirituality, I am reminded of the Holman Hunt painting – “The Light of the World”. Jesus is knocking at the door of our hearts, and there is no door handle on the outside of the door. If we are to meet Jesus, we must first open the door of our hearts and let him in.

PictureA0320Now, here’s the rub, lots of us don’t really understand what’s in our hearts and lots of us don’t really know where the door of our heart is, to open and let Jesus in. Now, Jesus wants to be our friend, but he doesn’t want to love the person we pretend to be, he wants to love the person God made.

There are a whole host of ways in which we might better get to know who we are, deep down inside. One of those ways I explored was in a “Rule of Life” workshop, where we were encouraged to consider our core and unchanging values, and then try to marry that up with how much of our time and energy we give to those values. It’s about translating that which is on our heart, into that about which we are passionate and committed.

Here was a really valuable exercise, for I believe that the better we understand ourselves, and the better we understand what God made us for, the more we play our part in God’s breath-taking coming Kingdom. In other words, the truth shall set us free, free to enjoy eternal life – the abundant gift of life in all its fullness, that begins now. I have no doubt the future for us will be challenging but, if God is involved, it will also be Joyful!

If, on the other hand, we buy into the, oh so fashionable, cynicism of our generation, if we fail to be passionate about the core values that God places in our hearts, and if we fail to strive together for the coming Kingdom of God, then in our lonely apathy, we can look forward to a bleak future…

When Jesus came to Golgotha, they hanged Him on a tree,
They drove great nails through hands and feet, and made a Calvary;
They crowned Him with a crown of thorns, red were His wounds and deep,
For those were crude and cruel days, and human flesh was cheap.

When Jesus came to Birmingham, they simply passed Him by.
They would not hurt a hair of Him, they only let Him die;
For men had grown more tender, and they would not give Him pain,
They only just passed down the street, and left Him in the rain.

Still Jesus cried, 'Forgive them, for they know not what they do, ' And
still it rained the winter rain that drenched Him through and through;
The crowds went home and left the streets without a soul to see,
And Jesus crouched against a wall, and cried for Calvary.

G A Studdert-Kennedy

The answer is yours to decide…
Will you continue unmoved and unaware?
Or do you dare to discover the door of your heart, and love Jesus there?

Yours in Christ

The Revd Canon Howard Gilbert (Rector)