This Month's Message

Harpley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Life is my Message." Mahatma Gandhi

Revd. Judith Pollard

Team Vicar

                                                                            

 

 


July/ August 2018

One of my son Joseph’s favourite books in childhood was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  It describes the adventures of a tiny caterpillar as he munches his way through many exciting foods, growing bigger and bigger until he becomes a cocoon and ultimately, a beautiful butterfly. Children identify with this story. Eating too many treats can mean having a stomach ache but the hungry caterpillar had to be so greedy to be transformed into a butterfly! It’s about positive transformation.

Many of Jesus’s stories or parables are about transformation too. The word parable literally means ‘to throw alongside’; there’s a sense of strength here and also surprise. God’s kingdom is nothing if not surprising – and counter-cultural, subverting conventional power systems such as, in Jesus’ time, the all-conquering Roman Empire. And still the Gospel message continues to inspire and energise us to this day. Parables allow us to use our imagination to engage with Jesus’s stories in each new generation and compel us to challenge conventional ways of looking at the world. We could all do with some unconventionality occasionally – think of President Donald Trump and North Korea!

St. Iraeneus, one of the Fathers of the Church, said in the fourth century that: “the glory of God is a human being fully alive.”   I would strongly suggest that we are all in a process of transformation, becoming ever more authentic to our particular calling, whatever that calling may be. This may involve munching our way through the right food, or taking the right exercise or reading the right books or sharing the right conversations - but ultimately we need courage and to have the space in our lives to listen - to our families and friends but also to be influenced perhaps by external factors for good, in order to grow and develop both as individuals and as communities.

St Benedict, known as ‘the father of Western monasticism’, wrote a renowned Book of Rules to order life in community, which people still find helpful today. Life in community doesn’t have to mean a religious community - it can apply to any situation where people are living and working together, such as our village communities here in Norfolk. 

Two of St. Benedict’s most important rules are:  don’t judge your brother or sister; and don’t grumble.  The first word in his book is ‘Listen’.   Let us heed this wisdom of St. Benedict and continue together on this lifelong journey of transformation.   

Summer is a wonderful time - of rest and recuperation, holidays, good times shared, village fetes and sunny days (hopefully!)  Have a wonderful summer! 


With my prayers and gratitude,  Judith.           

 


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