Friday, 25 May 2018

The View From Here

There is something lovely about climbing up to the top of a hill, and being able to look back down on the route you have just taken. Things can look very different from up there, compared with the view down in the valley. If the day is clear, it can be a good time to pause, to take a good look around, and to be aware of your surroundings.

Those of us who live in Elland live in a Valley; even though we think we are very familiar with the view, the next time you are in Exley, or up at Blackley, Ainley Top, or Elland Edge, then take a moment to look down, and allow the patterns of the view to emerge. There is always something fresh to see.

We have reached the period in the Church’s Year known as Ordinary Time, the season after Trinity. (Ordinary Time means simply the counting time.) If we take a look back at the view, then we can see how we have journeyed over the last few months from Advent, through Christmass and Epiphany, from Ash Wednesday through to Easter, Ascension and Pentecost, the two cycles that focus on the Incarnation of the Lord, and on his Death and Resurrection. These are the saving truths by which we, as Christians, live; these are the saving truths given by God to his creation, even though much of that creation ignores what is really going on.

The view from this point in the year, will take us forward week by week, Sunday by Sunday, to a systematic reading of and reflection upon St Mark’s Gospel. There are few great Festivals to come for a while, with the exception of the occasional Saints day, until we reach All Saints-tide at the beginning of November.

The Gospel of Mark was written to prove that Jesus is the Messiah. In a dramatic and action-packed sequence of events, Mark paints a striking image of Jesus Christ, illustrating who Jesus is as a person. The ministry of Jesus is revealed with vivid detail and the messages of his teaching are presented more through what he did than what he said. The Gospel of Mark reveals Jesus the Servant. Sunday by Sunday, the Church invites us to discover more of this Jesus, and to be fed and strengthened by him for our daily living. That is why it is so important that we are present at the Eucharist each and every Sunday. Only here can we be fed by Jesus who comes to find us, and to show his love for us.

June is often described as a month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Feast of the Sacred Heart, falling this year on Friday 8th June, is an extension of Good Friday, reminding us of just how much God so loved the world. Our God is a God who walks with us, and who finds us in our need.

A Prayer for this Month, in commemoration of the Divine Compassion of Our Lord

Almighty God,
whose Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
was moved with compassion for all who had gone astray
and with indignation for all who had suffered wrong:
inflame our hearts with the burning fire of your love,
that we may seek out the lost,
have mercy on the fallen
and stand fast for truth and righteousness;
through Jesus Christ our LordAmen.