Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
Sunday's Mass was a truly uplifting experience. Not only did we sing some of our favourite Christmas hymns and carols - and yes, the choir were in fine voice - but Father Michael gave an inspiring sermon. In fact he has given me permission to use his theme in today's blog.
His question to us was quite simple, but still thought provoking. "Are you a Christian?" he asked. Well, of course I am! I am here after all, and I have attended all the Christmas services, I read my Bible and say my prayers. What more do you want? And that was his point. Anyone can read a dusty old book; anyone can repeat by rote a few prayers half remembered from childhood, and the church is open seven days a week with Morning and Evening services everyday. "What I am asking," he said,"is what have you done? How do people outside these walls know that you are a Christian? What difference have you made in the world?"
At the very beginning of the Bible we read that God created the earth and all that was in it and it was good. Then he created man, who was to be His steward but in fact promptly proceeded to mess things up; something he continues to do to this day! The polar ice caps are melting at an alarming rate, the Amazonian forests are being recklessly destroyed whilst man's steadfast reliance on fossil fuel hastens global warming with disastrous effects on the planet. If you need any further proof just look at the bush fires that have been burning out of control in Australia for some months now.
Yes, someone should do something about that but there is nothing I can do. I am just one man. True, but consider that a sixteen year old Swedish girl addressed the world leaders at the United Nations in New York on just this subject recently. So what is your excuse?
New Year's resolutions have a habit of being forgotten after 31 January, but this year please make a commitment to get out of that comfortable pew you have occupied for so many years and do something that will make a difference to the world . You are not called to do extraordinary things but to do ordinary things extraordinarily. So pick up a pen write a letter; go out and protest, just do something. After all remember 'faith without deeds is useless' James 2:20(NIV).
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years