You are herePewsheet Archive / August 2018

August 2018


26th August 2018

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

QUIZ NIGHT FOR ST MICHAEL’S HALLTeams of 6 (MAX).

Sat. 1st September. 7pm for a prompt 7.30 start. £6.50 per person. Includes light supper. Bring your own drinks. Contact Dennis on 07866 341111.

 

“Words! Words! Words! I'm so sick of words!” sang Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.But the trouble is that words have great power. We can all simply burble and make them meaningless – but words have the capability to either empower or to cause great hurt. We might Say that only “sticks and stones” can break bones – but we all know that words can cause enormous heartache

So what when words also have the power to enliven? We all know the prologue to St John’s Gospel – “In the beginning was the Word…” but in this week’s passage St Peter is starting to recognise something important:- “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life!”

We live in a world of choices – in fact choice is often glorified as something good in itself, however confusing the options may be. The whole thesis of modern society is that all choices are morally neutral – and woe betides anyone who claims that their truth is superior or dares to criticise others. Modern liberal society declares that all choices are equally valid and good and discrimination is the ultimate sin, but of course that is nonsense! We all have to discriminate, between right and wrong, good and evil; Truth is not relative at all

So could you imagine what Jesus would have said if people had declared that the “bread of life” sayings might be good for some, but that everyone ought also to respect the pagan religions that were equally around? The fact is that Jesus offers life for all. In saying what he does he is either totally correct – or he is mad or bad! There is no in between

May Christ the Bread of Life continue to feed us in the way we should go.

 

Ian Cardinal


12th August 2018

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

            “Who wants to live forever?” sang Freddie Mercury and the band, Queen a long time ago. It seems a daft question – and yet the answer must really be “lots of people!” After all, aren’t our screens filled with products to stop us looking our age? How many different things can you think of that offer to “regenerate” your looks? And so on and so forth.

            I guess it was probably always the same. Underneath it all, so many people are still scared of dying. I used to work with someone who moaned continuously one Christmas: why? Because the feature film being shown was “Love story” – “we don’t want to think about that kind of thing over Christmas!”

            So everyone must have sat up straight when Jesus said “Whoever believes has eternal life.” But what did he mean? Some of the first Christians thought it meant that the end of the world was coming before they would die – and were very confused when Christians, along with everyone else, ended their natural life spans.

            The plain emphasis of what Jesus is talking about is a life with God:- one that is so rich, so full, so satisfying that it begins here and now on earth – and will continue in fellowship with him once our time on this earth is over. The text is an invitation:- don’t be bamboozled by the things of this world – they are all temporary! Instead, let’s concentrate on that which is truly important

            I always find it both distressing and foolish when people say things about “being a Christian and yet not going to Church.” It simply doesn’t make sense of course. Who, if they really have that inner glory that is God’s grace and blessing, would want to avoid being with him for an hour in worship?

            So come to him who is the “Bread of life.” Whoever eats of this bread will live for ever!

 

Ian Cardinal


19th August 2018

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

            I was talking to a lady this week who had taken her child to a foreign country on holiday. Sadly the child didn’t like the food there and refused to eat any of the more wholesome dishes that were on offer. Instead she existed on a dish of baked beans and a small square of toast! I suspect we’ve all been there. I was terrible about vegetables for a very long time – and only as I became an adult did I discover a taste for some of the things that we now accept as being wonderful for our “five a day”

            How good are you at knowing what is good for you? Would you be tempted by – chocolate – or sweets in general – or even alcohol? In our Gospel this week Jesus tells us what we need for our spiritual sustenance. He again declares that his flesh is the bread from heaven – and that he gives it for the life of the world. But his hearers are those who won’t take good advice. Their minds are so literal and so closed that they refuse him. Rather they would fall into an argument about what Jesus could mean; but this sort of thing is not for a debating society – it’s about health

            So today Jesus offers us a choice: we can accept our lives as needing him – or we can turn our backs on the “bread of life” and think that we know best! The trouble is that we do NOT know best – and we see the ultimate destination of those who go their own way as we look at some of the saddest items in the news this week. How much better to come to the “living bread that came down from heaven”?

            Humans are not good at making great choices. All too often we reject the sustenance that God offers for our lives. But the truth is that God’s free gift in Jesus is available for everyone

 

Ian Cardinal


5th August 2018

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

“And one by one they all drank (the sweet water.) And for a

long time they were all silent. They almost felt too well and strong to

bear it…..” That’s a quote from the CS Lewis children’s book The

Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The passengers notice that the sea water

has become sweet at the end of the world – and the water gives them

life and health beyond imagination.

Lovely thought: and this week Jesus promises “I am the bread

of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever

believes in me will never be thirsty.” - it doesn’t sound too different,

does it? – And yet, what does Jesus mean? Christians do get sick and

die – and we do hunger and thirst – so???

Plainly Jesus is talking about the ultimate times, when all things

shall be made right – and yet he gives us a foretaste of what is yet to

come in the Holy Eucharist. When all things are finally fulfilled, we shall

finally hunger no more – for we shall gaze on him face to face.

We live in a world of the latest fad and fancy. Being as old as I

am it rather amuses me to see fashions come around again that were

almost identical in the 1960s! And yet the hunger for more and more of

the same seems to go on an on. Why spend our money on that which

cannot satisfy? Asked the Prophet Isaiah? Why indeed – and yet none

of us is totally immune.

What Jesus offers is something beyond price and value – the

food which endures to eternity. Yet we find excuses:- I’m too busy that

Sunday – There are other things I need to do - I’m not worthy of taking

Communion etc. The truth is that absenting ourselves doesn’t make

things better – it makes them worse!

So perhaps I should simply echo our Bishop’s strapline for the

Diocese:

Come, follow Christ, in the footsteps of St Chad!

Ian Cardinal