“when Saul got to Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples but they were afraid of him..” ..his reputation his form as a practising Jew & a ruthless persecutor of Christians came before him, & they were understandably afraid of him..a suspected double agent.. would Sergei Skirpal be welcome in our village? how genuinely warm are we at welcoming a convert from the Church of England, Judaism or Islam?..or a so labelled “lapsed Catholic” coming home?.. ..would the full title of medical aid charity MSF fit worthily above the door into our Church our homespace & our hearts..”doctors without borders” ?..
“..he tried to join “ the parish of Our Lady & St Benedict .. ; Lord have mercy “..but they were all afraid of him..” ; Christ have mercy “..they could not believe he was really a disciple..” ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
“when Saul got to Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples but they were afraid of him..” maybe it was safer for them & their comfortable status quo to to voice their disbelief in his discipleship “ & they would not accept him..he was amazed at their lack of faith”.. remember?..perhaps it was dawning on them..gap between real discipleship, now being practised by Saul, & the mode of comfortable Christianity they had been led to believe in thus far..”mind the gap”..beware of falling between the platform & the train..a platform that goes nowhere..it can only look on spectate as lively passengers & travellers board or get off trains on a journey of direction distance & growth..how wide or how narrow is the gap?..between what we watch, from in here, & what goes on out there, beyond the safe confines of our Parish & Village..”mind the gap” the hypocrites spoke well & eloquently about religious practice but failed lamentably to put it into action..helping our six young disciples preparing for 1st Confession, I asked “who do we need to approach first in our journey of forgiveness?” God Jesus or family?..”no” they told me”me”..a fertile answer already seeding within them..”if we cannot be condemned by our own conscience, we need not be afraid in Gods presence, & whatever we ask him we shall receive”..put things right with our self first, as our pretend self is challenged by our real self..to wise up & to own up..to settle matters in our own conscience first, ground zero, where truth lives; truth “alith ssing the learned & the clever, but to a tyke, unconvincing, a loose ball well outside the off eia” means “that which cannot be forgotten”..Johns theology is that Jesus & all he stands for, & all he believes in, is realised here & now..realised eschatology..big words impre stump which doesn’t merit even a tickle..”we are children of the truth, & we are able to quieten our conscience in his presence, whatever accusations it may make against us” it is self certificating spirituality not a criminal court of cat & mouse religion..the two commandments, not 10 nor 425 decrees & precepts of Canon Law, two straightforward simple lifechanging soundbites “that we believe in the name of Jesus [ & of Saul ], & that we love one another” [especially our real self ]..”whatever we ask him, we shall receive” did you hear that?..& do you believe that?..”whatever we ask him, we shall receive”..it is all very well having a distant dream, but when you begin to believe it will actually really come true, are you prepared to live with the consequences?..big asks deserve big answers & accrue big lifechanging consequences..not life changing injuries as press report tragedy but life changing opportunities as faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ promises..a spirituality of inter dependence..vine & branches..every branch vital..either it’s cut off if it is fruitless /dead, a platform spectator..or pruned back, trimmed reshaped to ensure it keeps place & shape in wider scheme of vine..”I am the true vine”..true truth authenticity alitheia..the real thing..I love natural way the new shoots of vine attempt to cut & run, away from vine & its trellice..& then, few days later, feeling force of wind breeze & gap, it hesitates before taking wiser supernatural course & grows back towards the trellice, weaving itself around other shoots branches dependently, better stronger wiser for having attempted the escape & risked the adventure..minding gap/using gap & coming back with story to tell of what lies out there beyond platform 3..or are you on platform 8?..at York Station platform 3 is a through platform to KX, whereas platform 8 is a dead end to Starbeck, where you have to go back out way you came in..are we a through platform community, going out & forward with speed direction & purpose?..or a platform 8, going back to where we came from in the so called “good old days”?..“if you remain in me, & my words remain in you, you may ask what you will, & you shall get it.” did you hear that?..& do you believe it?..thank you for remaining part of our vine, every one of you loved & needed, each of us periodically/ seasonally pruned..known loved & appreciated now for our presence in this organic vineyard, rather than for its once famous vintage, held in casks to age & age, & sadly with a taste which never travelled well..as a recent Samsung advert said “we are born to do what can’t be done”.. [5thEasterYrBJn15;1-8]