The Gospel reading for this Sunday is Matthew 16:13-20
This week we are asked to think about the specialness of Jesus, and what it means for us, not in terms of our privileges, but in terms of our responsibilities. How do we organise ourselves to become a useful part of God’s mission in Jesus?
Do you sometimes think that the world has got the Church all wrong? Christians are often accused of being pious fools who think it isn’t their job to get stuck into the world’s troubles but to wait for God to do something. This week’s Gospel passage shows just how wrong such Christians would be – if there really are any. On the one hand the disciples are told that Jesus is ‘the Messiah, the Son of the living God’, and therefore invested with God’s power. On the other, they’re not to make any great claims as followers of a divine leader, but to think and pray and support one another under Peter’s leadership as they work out how to bring in the kingdom.
Then again, we might think back to last year (2022) when churches, and in particular certain church leaders, were accused of the opposite fault – not of inactivity, but of taking their courage in both hands and being too active in political debate, taking issue with what they saw as dishonesty, self-indulgence, callousness or greed among those in positions of power and authority. Should the scheme to send asylum-seekers to Rwanda have been allowed? Was there the greatest integrity in high places? Should the Government have been more active in providing sustained support to those really struggling with the cost of living? Did we play the right role in the conflict in Ukraine (whether militarily, or in response to the many refugees)? No doubt, people with different political views will offer different answers to questions. The point is, in the light of today’s Bible passage, that it is hard to say that religious leaders should not exercise their right to raise such issues. (copyright@Roots)
Our service on Sunday morning begins at 10.30 am. We look forward to welcoming Rev Augustine Ihm from St. James and Emmanuel Didsbury, to preside. Our organist and MD, Ollie Mills will accompany the hymns and lead the singing. Here are details of the readings and hymns for the service: