Fr. Jeremy's Topic - March 2017
At a recent service at All Saints, Boyne Hill a member of the congregation had an unfamiliar person with them. I was pleased to see a new face until during my sermon the new person said ‘Do you believe this rubbish?’ I do sometimes get disbelieving looks when I’m preaching and I did once have a young girl turn to her mother and say ‘When’s the man going to shut up?’ This person however was clearly upset and following the service we made a cup of coffee, offered a few biscuits and listened.
We heard how various things had gone wrong including some sad family issues. The person relaxed, seeing people cared for him and was then invited by a chorister to sing in the church choir who were practising. The next thing I noticed was the person singing words that seemed to make more sense than my earlier sermon!
The person was invited to breakfast and said he had found a sense of love within the church.
With the help of a series of guest speakers, members of All Saints are being challenged to think what it is to ‘Love God with all our heart, and with all our soul and all our mind and our neighbour as our self.’ Drawing on Pope Francis’ book ‘The Church of Mercy’ we are thinking how we might be a church of hospitality. On the subject of refugees Francis shares his worries for ‘Brothers and sisters scared by wounds that mark their existence: violence, abuse, the distance from family love, traumatic events….’. Francis wants refugees to be able to live with hope for the future of a host society that will offer friendship, the opportunity to learn the language, access to employment and education for children.’
There is a group of Christian, Jewish and Muslim ministers in the constituency that was home to Sir Nicholas Winton who are asking the Government to welcome children fleeing from war zones to find that hope Francis desires. May we find the way to love our neighbour as our self.