Sunday 2nd June

Read Mark 2.23 – 3.6

Matthew the Tax-Collector and Thomas the doubter. Peter the Rock and Judas the traitor. Mary Magdalene and Lazarus’s sister Martha. The old woman at a loss and the dishevelled man in the street – they are all our family, and you and I are their family and each other’s family, because that is what Jesus has called us as the Church to be.

Our happiness is all mixed up with each other’s happiness and our peace with each other’s peace. Our own happiness, our own peace, can never be complete until we find some way of sharing it with people who, the way things are now, have no happiness and know no peace. Jesus calls us to demonstrate this truth, live this truth

Be the light of the world, he says.

Where there are dark places, be the light – especially there. Be the salt of the earth. Bring out the true flavour of what it is to be truly alive truly. Be life-givers to others. That is what Jesus tells the disciples to be. That is what Jesus tells his Church, tells us, to be and do.

When we vote on 4th July we vote as Christians who love one another as we love ourselves.  We vote as people who are family to each other and to the most disadvantaged and marginalised.

When we vote, we must vote as though our most loved ones – in fact, we ourselves – are black, disabled, persecuted, alcoholic, substance users, unemployed, gay, lesbian, transgender, refugees, using a foodbank, cold, homeless, suffer with mental illness, waiting on an endless waiting list for an appointment with a specialist or surgery, part of a ‘different’ faith community, unlovable.

I urge you, over the next 4 weeks or so, to consider the issues and the lives at stake, as if they apply to you. Who will best represent your interests. But not from your position of relative privilege, but as if you were the most disadvantaged and marginalised of people – and side with them, as you love your neighbour, your family, as you love yourself.

Rev Janine

The words in italics are based on words of Frederick Buechner –
Originally published in The Clown in the Belfry