Despite having no Incumbent in the Vicarage, St Giles carries on, with a number of us gathering on Wednesday mornings for a short Communion with Revd Carole Christensen or Revd. Barrie Roberts. These Wednesday gatherings are loved because they are quiet, tucked away in the Lady Chapel, under the watchful gaze of Mary and Joseph looking over the infant Jesus in his Manger bed. They are times to remember that we also are being “watched over” as we go about our everyday, ordinary lives. We are, after all the Good Shepherd’s sheep, in need of His comfort and care.
Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 7. 15-20
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves, you will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that bears good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.”
Sometimes the wolf operates from the inside, much as the serpent operated on the inside of Eden, he lies low at the back of our minds, waiting to convince us that it is perfectly alright to have a foot in both camps, one in the world and one in church. He is pretty sneaky Mr Wolf, one of his favourite lines is “Off course it’s alright to do this or that, everybody does this, these days.” Or, the one that really scares Christian folk, so much that they say nothing at all, when they see the thorns and thistles growing like wildfire, “Perhaps you ought not to think like that people will say you are a prude, worse still a bigot!”
Some Thorns and Thistles:
Those are probably the ones, the devil has most success with,
The Longer List: (Some really poisonous ones here) Gal 5:19-20
Fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing and things like these.
Good Fruit (of the Spirit) 5. 22-23
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
It is of course self-control that checks our inner wolf. To exercise self-control is to be tuned in to the Holy Spirit, it is to turn up the volume to listen to the Word of God and cultivate a holy deafness to the deceitful wisdom of the world, flesh and devil.
The false prophet is sneaky, and seeks to make a profit from pedalling his tacky wares, the good prophet has no other agenda than that set by the Lord, our sanctification, blessing, our place as a good tree in God’s heavenly orchard.
O Lord our God,
Grant us grace to desire you with our whole heart;
That so desiring, we may seek and find you;
And so finding may love you;
And so loving may hate those sins from which you have delivered us;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Scriptures from NRSV
Prayer: St Anselm (1109)
Photos; Upper Portion Stained Glass Window-St Giles Lady Chapel (artist Benjamin E, Warren. And Nave
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