You are here21st August 2016
21st August 2016
The Parish Churches of
St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with
St Saviour Aston by Stone
We all know people or groups who seem to have an ingrained sense of entitlement or privilege, people who put themselves first without regard for the sensitivities or rights of others. Whether their behaviour derives from childhood experiences of over-indulgence or from some other source, it can be quite divisive and even destructive of family and workplace and community. Those who consistently put themselves first will often find themselves last in the sense that they are often simply tolerated rather than welcomed in most circles.
As Jesus makes his way from one town to another on his way to Jerusalem, “someone” puts a question to him. The question is about salvation: “Will only a few be saved?” or, more accurately, “Are only the few saved?” Jesus treats it as a rhetorical question that presupposes an affirmative answer. His answer could be interpreted as affirmative, even if it is a far cry from the expected response. Whilst the question comes from one person, Jesus’ response is “to them”. These people have shared table fellowship with him. Their insistence that they have eaten with him may suggest they are part of the crowd who has been following him from Galilee. They may even be those who objected to Jesus’ less than desirable table companions, the tax-collectors and sinners. They have heard his teaching: “You taught in our streets”. Jesus’ reply indicates that the tables have turned. It would come as no surprise to a Jewish audience to hear Jesus stating that the kin-dom belongs to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets. Jesus’ assertion that it also belongs to those who come from far and wide, “from east and west and north and south”, might be less than palatable to those who see themselves as “first” in the scheme of salvation.
Those who share in the banquet in God’s kin-dom, the “saved”, have prevailed in the struggle to enter through the “narrow door”. Entry is by no means restricted to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: it belongs to all who hear the word of God and put it into practice. The inclusion or “salvation” of outsiders will cause grief among “evil-doers”. These evil-doers include those who have eaten with Jesus and who have heard his teaching without effect and who, consequently, have failed to commit themselves to the struggle to establish God’s reign of justice and peace and reconciliation. There is no privileged access to salvation on the basis of birth or race or any other contingency. While the “door” to salvation may be “narrow”, Jesus has already declared that it is open to all who hear the word of God and “hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance”. Nichola Abbott.
Hymns for today
Please pray for the sick in the benefice:
Ron Burton, Mary Townsend, Ron Osborne, Doreen Knight, Noelle Emery, Peter and Dianne Harvey, Elsie Richardson, Glenn Ashall, Barbara Thornicroft, Roy & Barbara Ball, Tanya Hancock, Vera Tomkinson, Neil Wynne, Gary Kelsall, Julia Johnson, Rosemary Tranter, Jocelyn James, Emily Franks, Sara Stanyer, Bob Hickmott,
Fr David Mellor, Lindsay Hassall, John Richardson, David Simpson, Myrtle Summerly, Norman Ellis, Molly and Sarah Wright
And for the departed:
Crystal Jenkins, Rev’d David Thomas, Rev’d Bernard Maddox & Hildred Deakin
Remembering their families and friends at this time
Tuesday 23rd NO DROP INN CAFÉ – St Michael’s hall
Thursday 25th 10.30 am Holy Communion – St M&W
HOLIDAY AT HOME if you are not going away this August, why not try our “Holiday at home” in St Michael’s hall?
Tuesday 23rd. August, at St. Michael's Community Hall 10.00 am to 3.00 pm: Games, crafts, refreshments and loads more!!
BARBECUE AT St Michael & St Wulfad’s: Sunday 4th September after 10.45am Eucharist. Tickets £7.50 inc ice cream. Bring your own drinks and cutlery. Friends and family too. All welcome.
Healing Service The next service will be on Sunday 4th September at 4pm.