COVID-19 · From The Rector's Desk

From the Rector’s Desk – Friday in Easter Week – 17 April 2020

Christ is Risen. Alleluia!

It’s Friday in Easter week and we have made it through another week of Lockdown and the uncertainty of the future is growing daily. This morning when I awoke I read the Archbishop’s Blog  and it was speaking about all the things that I had on my mind, even down to referring to the Benedictine Rule of work, prayer and play; which was on my mind and was the subject of our Lenten Retreat this year. You can read the full article on our website.

But he and I wish to speak today about your Mental health. When I phoned one of the parishioners this week he said” spiritually I am fine, but emotionally I’m struggling.”

It is easy for us to get into this space when we know that God is in control and that all will work out in the end, but we are not sure how we are going to endure what lies between the problem and the solution.

I return, often to the scene in the book of Daniel, where Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego are thrown into the fiery furnace and Nebuchadnezzar sees the Angel in with them. We often jump straight to the part where they are drawn out and do not stop to think about the time that they were in the flames. The resurrection appearances that we read of in this season are      reminders of dealing with our emotional state of mind, and not just saying “ah” Jesus is arisen all will be well. In the Resurrection appearances, we find apostles “locked up in fear” (John 20:19), we find doubt expressed by Thomas (John 20:25) (listen or read Rev Peta May’s great Sunday Sermon on this (get it online We find men out fishing and catching nothing (John 21:3) just three examples of people dealing with life. Experiencing emotions and though they believed, they struggled. And in each scene Jesus comes and comforts and uplifts them.

Do not run from how you feel today, allow God to bring you peace right there, in this time when we lack diversions, we cannot overlook how we feel, we cannot run from it, we have to face it. Emotions are God given “prods” to get us to turn to Him and to receive healing and peace.

St Paul tells St Timothy “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” (1 Tim 4: 8)

Godliness involves being honest with yourself and with God, it involves seeking to understand God and yourself better. Allow yourself to engage with your fear, anger, resentment, lost dreams and disappointments by acknowledging them in prayer. Suppressed feelings are what lead to depression. “Do not be anxious about anything” said St Paul (Phil 4:6a) and by this he didn’t mean don’t get anxious, don’t feel emotions: he meant don’t stay anxious, he meant that when you do get anxious, acknowledge it and pray about it – “ but in everything by prayer and supplication, let your requests be known to God.’(Phil 4 6b).

This Sunday we will have a Eucharist Service on ZOOM, for those who can attend, and we will post Sunday Sermons as widely as possible. I encourage you to spend time in worship and seeking God this Sunday, in whatever way your context allows. But know this – you are being upheld in prayer and “with the Angles and the saints (that’s you) we say “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord! God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your Glory, hosanna in the highest!

Be assured of my prayers!


From The Rector's Desk

From the Rector’s Desk – Thursday in Easter Week – 16 April 2020

Christ is Risen. Alleluia!

I love to hike! Walking is a wonderful experience and is good for one. Many people are missing their daily walks, and I wonder what emotion arose in you as you were reminded of what you are missing out on.

The thing about hiking is that you don’t climb Table Mountain every day, some days a stroll around your garden can be as meaningful as summiting the Drakensberg and seeing a butterfly in the garden can be as majestic as gazing upon the Mweni valley. Every time you walk, the entire experience of walking, albeit subconsciously, fills your mind and every experience of walking becomes this experience of walking. Life is drawn out of every corner of your being into the present moment and the fullness of experience becomes yours. When you have hiked any distance and your legs feel the pull in the tendons and you have seen beauty in nature, you feel like you belong there. It is not just a scene that inadvertently appeared in your view, you did something to position yourself to see it. Thereafter when you look upon a picture of a mountain, and you have stood at the foot of one and climbed to the top of one and seen it from both sides, you have a new appreciation for mountains and that appreciation impacts on your vision as you gaze at any mountain in any form in any place. Such is life.

As you experience “today,” look upon it as one who has journeyed and seen the beginning and the end of something. Someone who has faced a challenge in something, who has overcome something! Look on today from your entire experience of “being” and think of these times that you longed for the things that you have today. And appreciate them!

I am not speaking to the privileged few, who think they have no worries. I speak to you and appeal to your ability to dig deep within and find strength when you are tired. I have learned (hiking) that you can go on, when you think you can’t. I have learned (hiking) that when you thought the end was in sight and but there is still further to go, and you think your strength is gone, that once you get going again your strength returns. I have learned (hiking) that the loads we carry eventually serve us. I think of carrying that heavy pack and wondering what could possibly be so heavy, and then eating from its contents and being glad that I carried it, or putting on a jacket that at midday I wondered why I had thought it was necessary, and now wonder how I would have done without it.  

I use walking as an example, a representative of a physical revelation of a life lesson, you all have your own examples and now you must draw on them.

Use your life experience to equip you for today, use your victories to remind you how it feels to overcome, use your losses to remind you that in life we have good days and bad days, but our faith sees us through. Our willingness to keep going, to overcome to face the challenges, are God-given gifts! Every day of your life has prepared you for today. Live all of life, draw on the memories, dream the dreams, life is more than today, keep it in context.

If we live by the Spirit let us walk by the Spirit!  (Gal 5:25)

Be assured of my prayers!