Friday’s reflection by Rev James Hair

PARISH HALL EUCHARIST from Bayly Avenue

READINGS:
2 Kings 25:1-12
Matthew 8:1-4

History is in the news! The toppling of the statues of Colston and Rhodes and the caging of Winston Churchill seem to be about editing history. A dangerous path, it seems.

Apparently there are a whole generation of Israelis who grew up in the fifties and were not even told of the Holocaust until the seventies. On a tour of Israel our guide explained why Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial was always the last site of the tour, “so you will go back and tell others and confront the Holocaust deniers”, he said showing the tattoo number on his arm.

The first reading is a horrific reading, deportation into slavery of a people, the murder of princes and the blinding deliberately of a king. The scenes reminiscent of ISIS controlled Syria and Iraq.

Shouldn’t we stop reading gruesome parts of the Bible? But that experience shaped Israel, shaped Jesus and therefore shapes us. Christianity is based on remembering and telling the story of the crucifixion of Jesus. That’s why we celebrate his name and some us even bend the knee to him.

The gospel passage speaks of a man on his knees in front of Jesus. A man socially distanced, quarantined, because he was contagious. On his knees he begs for healing.

Kneeling. I grew up in Church tradition which encouraged bending the knee (genuflection) not only for clergy and altar servers, but all people in church. “Who for us men and our salvation came down from heaven. (Kneel)”. How times have changed! It’s very rare for Anglicans to rise from sitting position except for hymns, and the only other physical gesture for some is raising arm for praise songs.

Maybe it’s time for Christians to rediscover, bending the knee, because our identity is based on a horrific event.

I don’t know about you but I will bend the knee only at the Name of Jesus, in the same way that the first Christians refused incense to the emperor, but would burn it only for Jesus Lord.

So.. the hymn for today…….At the Name of Jesus, every knee shall bow! Amen!

A couple of meditative sketches on the theme. Doing them helped my thoughts, I hope they help yours.

ONGOING PRAYER REQUESTS

DOCTORS: Damian Mayo, Jenny Mayo, Charlotte Cox
NURSES: Caroline Frost, Penny Hensman, Ruth Tunski, Jenny Olding, Stephanie Smith
POLICE: Tom Wrenn, Scott Brodrick (RN)
FUNERAL DIRECTORS: Ian Parker
NURSING HOMES: Jemma Frizelle
RETAIL AND FOOD DISTRIBUTION: Chris Jones (Sainsbury’s home delivery driver), Christine Horton (BP Garage, Portchester), Nick Knight (Tescos at Cosham), Natalie Ejemai (Tescos at Fratton) Debbie Foster and
Wendy Castle at Morrisons, Horndean, Keith Fleming-Brown (preparing hot meals for distribution to the
community)and Mark and Wendy Pyatt (delivering food through Portchester Community Centre to the community)

If you have a special prayer request we will put this on the page and ask for your prayers. Contact the Vicar on irev@ymail.com or phone 02392 375422.

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