St. Michaelās Vicarage
Dear People of Alnwick,
If you were in church at either 8.00 am or 9.30 am on 18th August you would have heard Gerard preach a most inspiring sermon. In it he brought us face to face with the important, though challenging, concept that Jesus is not āsafeā.
Now this is quite an uncomfortable truthā¦for the simple fact is that we all like to feel safe, donāt we? One of the things we hope and pray for, particularly for our loved ones, is that they may be kept safe. A sense of safety and protection is a basic human need. From it flows an ability to face all kinds of difficulties and challenges. For the Christian, such a sense provides us with a quiet but empowering assurance that God, in the form of his only Son, is on our side.
Earlier generations used to sing āSafe in the arms of Jesusā and old Sunday school pictures of āGentle Jesus, meek and mildā help to reinforce this concept.
My dictionary defines āsafeā as: protected from or not exposed to danger or risk. And so, in that respect, a follower of Jesus, getting on with the day to day business of life, risks the same chance of danger and risk as anyone else in their street, village or town. However āpaid upā a Christian you (or I) may be, we have no special rights of protection.
But, when Gerard spoke of Jesus not being āsafeā, I was reminded of Christās words to his disciples in John 16:33 ā āIn the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.ā
This is such an important truth to grasp as we continue to journey through life, trying our best to be the people Jesus would have us be; keeping alive the rumour of his love in this place.
Our Diocese of Newcastle markets itself under the strapline āGrowing Church Bringing Hopeā but that growth and that hope can only, and must only, be considered in the reality of everyday life now, in Alnwick, in 2019.
In so doing, there is no protection from danger or risk; indeed, there is likely to be constant exposure to it. Every glimpse or experience of safety we have is, without doubt, a bonus a particular God-given gift. But, please, let us ābe of good cheerā. Lack of safety in this concept is nothing to worry about. Some may even consider it a cause for rejoicing ā for in all we do we know that Christ goes with us every step of the way.
With every blessing,