The View from the Vicarage: All Gods Children

Welcome to my blog, we have been walking through the Acts of the Apostles and today we arrive at Jerusalem with St Paul, he has said tearful goodbyes and has been told to expect hardship and imprisonment as he does Gods will.

In Acts Chapter 22 we have the details of Paul’s defence as he has been arrested and taken in chains to the barracks by Roman Soldiers. The defence is eloquent and speaks of Pauls upbringing, his training his zealousness as a Jew, his conversion and his ministry. Yet the moment for me that really stuck home today is when the Roman Commander finds out that Paul is a Roman Citizen, he is alarmed that he and his soldiers have treated a citizen of Rome in such a terrible way.

The Acts of the Apostles is full of such moments where equality is challenged,  encounters that begin to point towards unity and we have looked at some of those over the last few weeks.

Today we stand in a hard and difficult world, on one hand we have COVID19 bringing our communities together in new and exciting ways despite its tragedy and cost in lives, on the other we see the evil of racism in our world.

The murder of George Floyd and its aftermath leave us deeply troubled, we as a world have not learnt the most basic of lessons – we are all God’s children, we are all citizens of the same humanity, created in the image of God himself. White supremacy is nothing short of evil, black lives matter.

As Christians we must shout from the roof tops that we can do nothing less than treat every human being of every colour race and creed as made in beautiful image of God. We are all God’s children and anything less unacceptable.

We must also begin with ourselves, we often have buried in ourselves forms of discrimination that are shaped by the society we have been brought up in, this is known as unconscious bias. We must repent of our own short comings but also we must stand up in the name of Jesus Christ, in the name of justice and let the world know this is not how it should be.

Let us start with ourselves as we pray for unity, start with our own hearts as we yearn for the healing of evil that is racial discrimination and let us offer our prayers for all Gods children everywhere. Dr Martin Luther King Jr said, “In a real sense, we are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Therefore, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

In the words of Bishop Michael Curry we must all make “a daily decision to live in the way of love … when we all do that, we win.”

I leave you with a hymn some people of around my age may remember from school, written by Sydney Carter in 1965 its speaks of what a global family, being all God’s children might dare to look like. WE need to be global neighbours right now – all God’s Children.

When I needed a neighbour, were you there, were you there?
When I needed a neighbour, were you there?

And the creed and the colour and the name won’t matter,
were you there?

I was hungry and thirsty, were you there, were you there?
I was hungry and thirsty, were you there?

And the creed and the colour and the name won’t matter,
were you there?

I was cold, I was naked, were you there, were you there?
I was cold, I was naked, were you there?

And the creed and the colour and the name won’t matter,
were you there?

When I needed a shelter, were you there, were you there?
When I needed a shelter, were you there?

When I needed a healer, were you there, were you there?
When I needed a healer, were you there?

And the creed and the colour and the name won’t matter,
were you there?

Wherever you travel I’ll be there, I’ll be there,
wherever you travel I’ll be there. 

And the creed and the colour and the name won’t matter,
were you there? *

Your friend and Vicar

David

196 Sydney Carter Reproduced by kind permission CCLI 285604

 

 

 

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