Someone once said ‘This life is not the waiting room for God’s kingdom of justice, mercy and peace – it’s the building site’.
Last week we reflected on how our personal transformation only has Gospel integrity if it leads to the transformation of the lives of others – well, today’s Gospel ‘moment’ (Luke 4.14-21) leaves no room for doubt. This transformation is a challenge for those of us who live such materially privileged lives – not least because it demands that we recognise others needs from the perspective of our comfort. Maybe that’s why in the collect we acknowledge how weak we are when really challenged and how much we need God’s mighty power to bring about that integrity of Christian witness.
We also mark Paul’s conversion this Sunday (Matthew 19.27-30). In the fantastic picture by Caravaggio we see Paul thrown from his horse… true conversion of life ‘costs’. It is always going to throw us as it throws those who would rather stay comfortable sat on their beasts of burden…
whose Son revealed in signs and miracles
the wonder of your saving presence:
renew your people with your heavenly grace,
and in all our weakness
sustain us by your mighty power;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
At the main service at Birdham (9.30am) Joyce Henson’s sermon will be on the Conversion of St Paul. At West Wittering (9.30am) Annette Stickley sermon theme will be Faith, Change and the Journey of Life……….. At the 11am ‘Children’s Worship’ in WW there will be lots to engage the children. Jim Mould’s theme at Itchenor (11.00) will be Conversion of St Paul; “Jesus is not a person of the past but a risen Saviour who continues in the present and for the future”.
For those of you wishing to join Evensong at West Wittering Sarah Manouch’s sermon will be “Paul – conversion or redirection?”
Caravaggio’s picture Paul can be seen reaching up with his arms in a way so reminiscent of prayer. We too reach out to God in prayer for all those who have asked for our prayer…
Maurice Stokes, Michael Terry, Josie, Georgina, Ros & Brian O’Brien
and those who have recently died and their loved ones.
Alice Doreen Hadley, Beryl Guard and Gary West.
The Ministry Team are only too happy to talk through aspects of their Sermon. If you know of anyone who needs our prayers or would appreciate a visit please let the Rector or the Parish Administrator know.