Psalms: 72, 119:73-96
Old Testament: 2 Samuel 3:22-39
New Testament: Acts 16:16-24
Gospel: Mark 6:47-56
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from the Catecheses of St. Cyril

Before I even *start* contemplating the readings for tonight…..let me just get this outta my system:

πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

The Bishop came, the Bishop went….and in between was a fantastic time of worship, community, and a wonderful lunch.

Granted, actual talk of ordination was kept to a minimum and definitely shied away from a little bit…but overall I think the experience was good not only for myself, my supervisors and the Bishop..but also the people who came out to sing praises to God and to open up the Bread of the Word together this morning at 10am.

With such an obscure time-slot for the visit, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot of people to show. Imagine my surprise and delight when we had 20+ of my church family come together in prayer and support for the wok of the Gospel.

I cannot express in words how touched I was to see so many smiling faces in the pews and to know that I am so loved…….both God and his people are truly great! :D…..

Anyhoo… on to your regularly scheduled post………..

Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ (Mark 6:51b)

The biblical message to “be not afraid” is one that I have offered many many people in pastoral situations. It lies at the very centre of our Christian life. We are taught not to fear darkness, suffering, distress, or even death, but to embrace it in the hope and knowledge that both Light and Empty Tomb are the true reality.

Not only that, but the message to have no fear has it’s roots in the Old Testament. 99.99% of the time, any time God wishes to send a direct message to humanity through an angel….that messenger’s first words are always “be not afraid”

As I sit here and find this verse mirrored back to me in the readings for this evening, I find myself astonished that I couldn’t take my own spiritual advice to others and apply it to myself…..but then again, isn’t that the irony about the life of faith?

We are happy to extend absolution, forgiveness, blessing and promise to those around us……but developing amnesia when it comes to remembering the promises of God in our own sordid situations.

Don’t get me wrong…….the Divine reassurance that fear will be quelled, doesn’t mean that fear doesn’t exist……we are human after all :P.

But it does strike me as funny that after $20, 000, an M. Div. degree and a few years in professional ministry, that lesson still hasn’t managed to sink in. πŸ˜› +