Sermon for All Saints’, Ryde Trinity 2, June 13th 2021
One step enough in the love of Christ
Readings: 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, 14-17 & Mark 4:26-34
[I think I can say this as I have a few Irish as well as Welsh roots]

  • What did the Irishman say when asked by a lost and weary
    traveller for directions? … “Well, I wouldn’t start from here!”
    I can’t remember when I first heard it but it always makes me
    smile.We hear this morning from St Paul’s encouragement to the
    church in Corinth, ‘brothers and sisters’, to be ‘always confident’
    even when we feel lost, dislocated, weary, unable to see the Lord
    or the way ahead – ‘for we walk by faith, not by sight.’ I find that a
    great encouragement, personally, and I hope it is a great
    encouragement to us all at All Saints’ at this delicate but hopeful
    time. Let’s remember, as our church council meets today, and we
    prepare for our annual meeting and elections next month, as
    Paul writes, that ‘the love of Christ urges us on’ and ‘he died for
    all.’ Not only those who we like or agree with. All.
    Judgements are not to be made by us, ‘for all of us must appear
    before the judgement seat of Christ.’ Much better for us to focus
    on our own need for God’s mercy and salvation as the wellspring
    of our lives and actions.
    And however life is for us at present, if we are offering ourselves
    again to live in the love of Christ, to renew our compass-bearing
    again to the God who is our only absolutely dependable point,
    then something amazing happens. In the midst of our confusion,
    our not being able to see, our walking by faith puts us ‘in Christ’
    and ‘there is a new creation.’ As Paul exclaims with joy to those
    troubled and fractious Christians many centuries ago, and to us
    today: ‘everything old has passed away; see, everything has
    become new!’ This is how Jesus is redeeming the world – and
    each one of us, praise the Lord!
    So, if we can have the humility and faith, individually and
    together, to ask God for directions, God won’t ever say:
    “Well, I wouldn’t start from here!”
    However life is, whatever messes, losses or darknesses we
    sometimes face, the God whom Jesus shows us always starts
    from here – from exactly where we are. And we can trust that
    God is here with us.

Mark Oakley wrote this week about visiting his very elderly
grandmother with more quiet times now – ‘it means we just sit
together and enjoy each other’s company. Fewer words mean, of
course, that we become more aware of a person’s presence. Our
sixth sense can feel a person’s soul in shared silence…I’m trying
to learn how to sit with God’s Spirit in stillness a little more – just
to be comforted when confronted by the love, peace, gentleness
and goodness that are found there. Several times in my life,
when things have been tough, I have restlessly contorted myself
to become still, and more attentive, only to discover that things
that feel as though they are falling apart are actually just falling
into place’ (Church Times diary, 11 June).
John Henry Newman, a great Anglican and Catholic, in his
wonderful poem and hymn, ‘Lead, kindly light, amid the
encircling gloom’, wrote: ‘One step enough for me.’ And our next,
one step is always enough. If we are seeking God’s will and
offering ourselves to live and walk in His ways, whether or not we
think we can see what they are at any moment, then our next
step will be enough, and will be blessed. And that small step of
faith and hope and love, like the tiny mustard seed, can grow
and blossom and bless others who need it, too. God bless us all
in taking that next step, today and every day.
Rev James Percival, Interim Priest in Charge


Other Updates

Pentecost Sermon 23/5/21

Sermon for All Saints’, RydePentecost, 16th May 2021Readings: Acts 2:1-21; John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15It’s a great moment in the year, the festival of Pentecost,the church’s birthday,

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