It’s true isn’t it, that we very often act as though we were doing God a favour, if we make a special effort to come to Church, if we manage to resist some particular temptation, if we put ourselves out to help someone in need. This is not directed at those who come faithfully to church every week but rather to those who come occasionally who reckon that God will be pleased with us or perhaps less displeased with us because we have done this or that. If we catch ourselves thinking like this, we should recall those words from the collect for the 19th Sunday after Trinity. ‘O God, forasmuch as without thee we are not able to please thee; Mercifully grant , that thy Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ We seem to have an innate desire to justify ourselves. There are not many people who literally don’t care what anyone thinks of them? The good opinion of other people at least of some particular person is a matter of some importance. There is nothing wrong in this idea - indeed, it is probably desirable and necessary to a certain degree.
So, following on from last month’s message I ask what about the world where we bear our witness? This is God’s world and we are set in it as stewards and charged with the responsibility of protecting it. Our concern is for wholeness and fulfilment of all people, since all are of equal worth in the love of God. As Christians we are concerned about all issues to do with the environment and the community in which we live.
Whatever we learn about the world, in nature, technology, space, biology, chemistry - all point to the greater glory of God the Father who created the world and all that is in it - the infinite, creative and caring intelligence that can comprehend all this. Whatever we learn about human nature and personality, through psychology, and sociology, bears witness to the perfect human nature of Jesus. Whatever we learn of the achievements of humankind in literature, architecture and philosophy - all these and more stretch our understanding of the inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit.
Your Friend and Parish Priest
Father David Isiorho