From Your Rector: Revd. Matthew Tregenza

As I write this, the Feast of Pentecost is on the horizon, marking as it does the completion of the great fifty days of Easter, ‘The Queen of Seasons’ as St. John of Damascus called it.

Both Easter and Pentecost help us to express our hope for what Jesus described as ‘the Kingdom of God’ and one of the signs of the Kingdom of God is peace.

Peace, or shalom, as any Hebrew scholar will tell you, is far more profound than the absence of war. It is a vision of a world in harmony with itself: nations reconciled to one another after generations of alienation; individuals in right relationship with each other; a sense of self-worth and fulfilment for every human being; the celebration (not just acceptance) of differences; an equal sharing, and responsible stewardship, of the resources of the earth. It is this great dream that the Church seeks to embody, no matter how often we stumble in our journey towards it.

One of the great tragedies of humanity is that we grow apart from one another, and allow differences to obscure the reality of our connectedness. In the eighteenth century it was the emergence of science that became the focus for division. Christians in influential positions did not all respond in the same way. Some embraced the new ideas uncritically, while others condemned them because of a perceived (but not real) threat to the life of faith. Even today there are many who believe that science and faith are opposed and irreconcilable. But no one thing or idea is in itself the cause of division in the human family. We have to take responsibility for how we respond, and if faith is to be real it must undergo a testing, perhaps many.

So the Church must learn constantly to become a place where we are not afraid to doubt, to live with questions and uncertainty, and to listen with patience and attentiveness to everyone, even if their ideas seem to threaten our very way of life. Within the heart of every human being there is a longing for peace. Will we be among those whose trust not only allows us to see the future that is coming, but also to hasten its arrival?

Create peace within yourself and thousands will find salvation around you. St. Seraphim of Sarov (1754-1833)

Yours ever


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Bishops Lydeard
Bishops Lydeard
Bishops Lydeard