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SUNDAY 12th SEPTEMBER: THE FIFTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

 

READINGS

Isaiah 50: 4-9a

Mark 8: 27-38

 

REFLECTION

 

Did you ever have a truly inspiring teacher when you went to school or college?

 

Was there someone who really made a subject come alive? A teacher who embodied the excitement and appeal of a subject so that you could feel it, too?

 

There is a very cruel saying that those who can, do, and those who can't, teach. The best teachers, of course, both do and teach. The science teacher whose practical experiments are inspirational and fun. The swimming tutor who jumps in the water and shows you how to do the stroke. The football coach who is on the pitch with you, not standing on the touchline shouting orders. The drama teacher who gets the best out of every student by taking each role in turn. I was talking to someone last week who was told at school that she would never be able to sing. Only recently has she found a singing teacher who has enabled her not only to find her voice but also to sing with a decent choir.

 

In Jesus, God gave us the supreme example of divine love for human beings, by becoming human himself. By getting in the water, joining in the game and showing us exactly how the part should be played. Both teacher and example, the embodiment of the lesson, making it come alive. God the teacher knows the value of the practical example. God the Creator didn't stand at the front of a music class, dictating how many sharps and flats should be in each scale, God dressed a song in feathers and lovingly released it into the sky – what a lovely analogy.

 

Some lessons are easier to learn than others. Peter accepted that Jesus was the Messiah. What he found more difficult to understand was the kind of Messiah Jesus was. In fact, all of the pupils around Jesus found it hard to absorb their teacher's difficult lessons. Lessons about humility and forgiveness, about suffering and redemption. Jesus knew that he would have to show, rather than tell. He would have to do, not just say.

 

Jesus is still teaching today, teaching us.....and teaching through us. Not many of us have the formal title of teacher, whether in classroom or church. But we all have a teaching ministry, and we are all on teaching practice. It is called practising what you preach. Living out, in the week and the world, what we say in church on Sunday. But because we are all human, we won't always get it right. It won't always be easy. It wasn't easy for Jesus going to the cross. For us, too, there are often difficult decisions and painful choices to make between what we want to do and what we know we ought to do if we are to witness faithfully to Jesus and take up our cross. To use a modern phrase, if we are to bring the good news of Jesus to others, it's no good talking the talk if we don't also walk the walk!

 

PRAYER

 

Almighty God,

we commit to you not simply a part but all of our life,

asking that you will take who and what we are,

and everything we do,

and dedicate it to your service.

This prayer we offer in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

Every Blessing,

Canon Dave                                                  11th September 2021

Canon Dave’s Weekly Message

Dear Friends

 

On Thursday of last week I spent a very enjoyable day with my brother in law in Filey. The weather was kind, the ale was good and the fish and chips were delicious. We walked and reminisced about times past and the family holidays we shared at various seaside resorts. My family holidays were spent each year in Skegness. I remember my mum sending postcards to people and always ending the message with “Wish you were here.” Did you have the same experience?

I found am amusing poem written by Eileen Rippon who at one time lived in the village of Edensor.

Wish you were here (selected verses)

 

How very thoughtful people can be

When they go on their holidays down by the sea.

They send you a card with a pretty view

Or a funny one with a joke or two,

They say 'The digs' are very nice

but the weather is cold and the sea is like ice.

Daddy nearly got blown off the pier.

And they go on to say, “We wish you were here.”

 

They “ had a terrible journey” down

And were “Jammed for hours” through every town.

Tommy was naughty and Daddy got wild

and Mummy argued, “ He's only a child.”

But they got there quite safely, I was pleased to hear.

But they need not have added, “Wish you were here.”

 

They thought they were going to Shangri-la

But it wasn't a bit like that by far.

The hotel was just a building site

With noise and dust all day and night,

The staff were “just a lazy lot”

and never came though you rang a lot.

The meals were lukewarm and so was the beer.....

I can't think why the card said “Wish you were here.”

 

As I sit in my garden and have a long think

And help myself to another cold drink,

There isn't a sound but the buzzing of bees

And a cuckoo calling through the trees.

A lazy dog barks, the scent of the flowers,

A rumble of thunder, the gentlest of showers.

It's over in a minutes: the storm wasn't near,

So I'll send them a card saying “Wish you were here!”