Thought for the month

On 7 August, Rev Sheila Cameron preached on Luke 9.28–36, about the Transfiguration of Christ, and her sermon ended:

“Our work and our worship are to go hand in hand. We’re called not to be blinded by the light of Christ, but to let it gently illuminate and enable our everyday existence.

“The disciples were permitted to see the glory of God in the face of Jesus in preparation for a life of service and self-giving. As Christians, we’re instructed not to hide our light but to let it shine in the world so that people might, through us, come to know the light of Christ …

“In the story of the Transfiguration, God’s glory breaks into the ordinary and the mundane, sometimes dazzling us with its radiance as sunlight can dazzle us when we emerge from a shady place, more generally transforming our reality with new brightness and promise. But there is more to it than that; this morning’s collect reminds us that being transformed “from glory into glory” is necessarily a journey we make by the grace of God. We pray for that grace to perceive Christ’s glory in places of suffering, so that we might be strengthened to suffer with him: and we should not be in any doubt that our lives will contain suffering; but we believe that in Christ our suffering will lead us to a place of resurrection where we too will reflect his divine glory.

“The Transfiguration is about an encounter with a God who insists that we recognise the divine, the sacred, the heavenly, everywhere in the world around us. We need to hold on to our graced moments of vision to carry us through the difficult times, as Peter, James and John never lost sight of that vision of Christ in glory that was given to them on the mountain. Thanks be to God.”

You can read the whole of Sheila’s sermon at this link.

Jesus visits Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38–42)

Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Which is the better part?
For years interpretation has sought
to divide Martha and Mary
determining that only one of them
can be commended by our Lord
that only one way
is important in the kingdom.
Yet truth be told
we know all too well
that we need those who welcome others
doing all the things necessary
to provide hospitality
as well as those
who will take time to listen,
affording intimacy.
And in both women
we see the norms of the day
confounded yet again
turned on their head
by women refusing to conform.
Martha, welcoming Jesus boldly
as a head of a household might.
And Mary, sitting at the Rabbi’s feet
as a disciple might.
Both, in their own way contributing
to the table fellowship they shared.
And, we can imagine Jesus
taking the fruits of Martha’s labour:
bread still warm from the oven
its aroma filling the room
and sweet, heady wine,
kept for just such an occasion
and, wrapped in the adoring gaze of Mary,
transforming those gifts
in the knowledge
that the portent of death
was not missed in this home
For here were two women
who simply got it
and, together, made room for the One
in whom everything made sense
Two women who demonstrated that love
does not consist in either/or
but in both/and.
Martha and Mary
who recognised
that the kingdom was near.

Thanks to our good friend Liz Crumlish for allowing us to re-post her blog.

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” (John 16:12–13)

“You cannot bear them now…
When the Spirit comes…”
Lord you spoke these words
to your disciples
enfolded in their own grief
and puzzlement
In the midst of trauma
yours was the cautious voice
of waiting
the consoling voice
of promise
In your infinite compassion
you made space
urging them to do the same
In these times,
we, like the disciples
are anxious to know
and understand
and impatient
to act.
Calm our jets, Lord
Show us how to wait
Still our racing reactivity
Encourage us to care for ourselves
before we barge on
with fixing the world
or even the church.
Reassure us
that yours is a long term call
that warrants
and love
for ourselves
and others.
Enable us
to sit contemplatively
with unanswered questions
to nurture
our grieving spirits
to make space for you
to pour in your healing
and your wisdom
in your time
when you consider
that we are able to bear it
And Lord
through the great cacophony
of voices
urging us this way and that
enable us to discern
your still, small voice
of clarity
and purpose.
So may it be.

Thanks to our good friend Liz Crumlish for suggesting that we re-post her blog as a word of encouragement for our sad times.

God our refuge and hope,
when race, status, or gender divide us,
when despondency and despair haunt and afflict us,
when community lies shattered:
comfort and convict us with the stillness of your presence,
that we may confess all you have done,
through Christ to whom we belong
and in whom we are one. Amen.

Found at
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

As people of faith, we are storied people. Our faith is built on ancient myths, legends, and stories of folk who, through every age, have sought and found God who brings together and makes sense of all our stories. How will we make sense of God’s story today? How will we live, together, in the story of God – of the past, the present and the future.

Reading today’s gospel, in the light of Ascension that we celebrated on Thursday, I’m struck again by how Jesus entrusts us with his story, with the story of faith. “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one.” (John 17:20–21a)

We are entrusted with the good news. So what story are we telling? How are we portraying a life of following God? Is it a story that, even today, in the midst of the darkness, holds out light? Are we still able to share the story of hope and of resurrection? Are we living as those who make a positive difference in the lives of our communities?

This is an extract from the sermon given by Rev Liz Crumlish at the St Margaret’s Sung Eucharist on 29 May 2022, speaking in our sermon series ‘Countering the Darkness: Stories of Hope and Resurrection’. Do read the whole of what Liz had to say, which you can download at this link.

The image comes from an article written for World Refugee Day 2021 by Defne Gursoy, which you can read at this link.

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Coming up …
  • 14 August 2022
    9:30 am Sung Eucharist
  • 14 August 2022
    11:00 am Morning Worship
  • 21 August 2022
    9:30 am Sung Eucharist
  • 21 August 2022
    11:00 am Morning Worship

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