Vicarage Thoughts 2nd May 2020
Acts 2.42-47; 1 Peter 2.19-25 – Good Days and Bad Days
A country in crisis, travel difficult and an unmarried couple expecting a baby very soon – is it Israel AD 1, or could it be lock-down 2020, a stable behind an inn or a flat in Downing Street?? I could write more but it’s the wrong time of year. It’s not Christmas and actually a lot nearer to May Day!
Perhaps many of us are trying to adapt to new ways of living at the present time. Some may be struggling with the aloneness or loneliness because there is non-one else in their home to share conversation and daily tasks with. Others will be trying to cope with a houseful of family, from new born babies to frail and elderly relatives, some longing to get out and others afraid to do so.
The new Christian community in the early years of the church probably had similar challenges but without the internet or even a phone. In Acts 2 we read that far from being discouraged these new believers learned from and listened to each other. They saw miracles happen, broke bread together and shared their possessions, giving if they had enough, receiving if they were in need. Day by day more joined them and their faith grew.
Acts is one of my favourite books from the Bible. It’s about ordinary people learning to live out everyday lives but now with the power and presence of the Holy Spirit available to them. Reading on we can find out more about the challenges and sometimes tragedies they would face.
We have read in recent weeks, and read again today, from Peter’s first letter. It tells us some things about how the church changed over the first forty years of its life. Today we learn some more about life for the Christians in Rome. Some Romans may have been just as hostile to their enthusiastic faith as some of the Jews had been in and around Jerusalem. At the same time many, from slaves to soldiers, were accepting Jesus as Lord. But there was little let up on hostility from non-believers. In the face of all this Peter takes his readers then, and us now, right back to the cross. In that place we are reminded that by His wounds we are healed. Even if we have been like sheep going astray we too can return to the shepherd of our souls. Jesus is there to help us back on to the road of faith for today and each future day.
Revd Jonathan Watkins, Vicar, St Mary’s Knutton
Collect for 5th Sunday after Easter
whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life:
raise us, who trust in him,
from the death of sin to the life of righteousness,
that we may seek those things which are above,
where he reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.