From the Vicarage May 2018
as published in Great Yarmouth Parish Life
Rev Jemma Sander-Heys, Team Vicar
Well, spring is finally here at last it seems, only a few weeks late! But now the flowers are all in bloom, the trees are green again and the sun is no longer a stranger to our skies. And with the return of new life to the world, my mind always turns to new projects and mission activities...
I don't know if you have ever charted the mission travels of one of the New Testament's most prolific letter writers, Saint Paul? After he encountered
Christ in a dramatic vision and stopped persecuting the early Church, he travelled all around the Mediterranean on his mission to share the Gospel with people of other nations. Well, one winter he was shipwrecked with a boatload of sailors and soldiers upon the island of Malta...
They had set off late too in the year and been swept away by the incoming stormy weather, and ended up waiting three months for the fair winds to return. It must have been a relief for everyone when fair weather returned, and yet Paul's journey onward in a new boat and fair weather will have been a mixed blessing: although he was continuing on the path of mission to which God was calling him, he was in fact returning to Rome, under guard, to stand trial
In the time that followed, Paul was released and went out on mission again, travelling vast distances for the time and telling crowds of people all about Jesus. But finally his travels took him back to Rome, and to prison. Still that too was part of his mission journey, even though he was stuck in a cell, the people around him came and went... the mission work came to him. Paul told fellow prisoners, the rulers who interrogated him and even the jailers who guarded him, all about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, and all the while he continued to write to fellow believers across the known world, encouraging them. Come rain or shine, locked up or on the move, Paul travelled onward in the path of Christ, and brought others with him...
We are all called to walk the path of Christ, of mission and courage. This year, where will God's call take you on your travels? Or who will it bring to you where you are staying? And what will you say to those you meet?
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