The Days After Trinity


       Those who liked things just the way they were and were comfortable in their lives and were of course upset and angry with Jesus' teaching for he was threatening everything they knew by throwing a new light on their beliefs. In the past the Prophets who did this were often killed by the reaction to such behaviour and Jesus must have been was aware of this. In fact it could be argued that Jesus expected to be stoned to death in line with some of the prophets rather than crucified.
That is why I think he felt safe to say things like: "Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it".
In other words, you have to take up the new ways and give up the old no matter what. Your very souls depend on it. I don't think Jesus its talking about a physical sword but a cleaving away from the old ways and joining the new; a willingness to stand up for the new understanding no matter who did not like it.
Christianity is and always has been a radical religion and always resisted. We see the resistance to that today when people stand up and say religion should stay out of politics. In fact, it is the other way around, politics should stay out of religion.
In these days of lockdown we have seen a true spirit of Jesus come through where everyone is concerned genuinely for their neighbour and prepared to be sacrificial to help out. Church buildings, valuable though they are have been shown to non-essential to Christian life and worship.
God is forcing us through circumstance to think radically whether we like it or not. I think that it is very positive.


Three Valleys Team Ministry


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Keep us, good Lord,

under the shadow of your mercy.

Sustain and support the anxious,

be with those who care for the sick,

and lift up all who are brought low;

that we may find comfort

knowing that nothing can separate us from your love

in Christ Jesus our Lord.



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The Reverend Tony Gilbert and his wife Nicola