theunfamiliarname

Preparing for Ordinary Sunday 17B

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2009 at 7:35 am

Today is Social Services Sunday, an occasion that gives us opportunity to acknowledge, celebrate and pray for our community-facing Ministry as Church.

We are this day mindful of the City Mission, the diocese’s Aged Care services, hospital, tertiary and prison Chaplaincies, family and children’s services, community and school programmes.  A number of these are grouped under the “Anglican Care” banner, and I hope we can feel a sense of ownership of this work done in our name.

This does not, of course, let us off the hook!  Jesus charges us all with care of the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick, imprisoned (Matt. 25:31-46).  Service to others is an intrinsic part of service to God.  Some of that happens when we gather our gifts together, as we do in our helping agencies.  Much of that happens when we respond to the needs of those we encounter ourselves.

Our gospel this morning offers a parable enacted of God’s goodness and bounty, born out of the seed of a boy offering his small resources.  Whatever we give, in whatever kind we are able to, Christ takes, blesses and breaks – and the needs of many are met.  This is the parable enacted also in the Eucharist: our bread and wine, simple and small, at Christ’s Table become the Feast of Heaven.

This week may we have our eyes open to the capacity we have, however meagre it may seem, to meet the needs of those around us:

Seven times a day, as I work upon this hungry farm,
I say to you: “Lord, why am I here?
What is there here to stir my gifts to growth?
What great thing can I do for others
– I who am captive to this dreary toil?”
And seven times a day you answer,
“I cannot do without you.
Once my Son lived your life,
and by his faithfulness he sowed my mind, my kindness, my truth.

But now he has come to my side, and you must take his place.”
– Hebridean Altars

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