Soul Food 25th September
This was the eleventh annual literary festival in Budleigh Salterton and the event is now of national significance. Over 8.000 tickets sold, 48 separate events, and the ones I attended ranged from a history of language given by the editor of the Guardian, the lives and loves of the Mountbatten family, The history and significance of Angels, Tom Holland speaking about how Christianity made the Western world, and ended with Adam Kay’s hilarious and also poignant recollections of his life as a Junior Doctor.
It know it also meant some upheaval at St. Peter’s as the biggest venue (410), and it did feel funny needing a ticket to get into my own church but I think that was a small price to pay for us being involved in such a super project. It doesn’t do us any harm financially either!
On Sunday morning, I presided at All Saints and St. Michael’s together with Louise’s mum and dad who stayed the weekend. My sermon centred on the central desire of God that all people be saved, our equality before God, and how this underpins the direction of our prayers. If you’d like to read what I said just click here; https://revmartinjacques.blogspot.com/2019/09/in-midst-of-wolves.html
Next Sunday – St. Michael and All Angels
This week there will be no main services at St. Peter’s or All Saints (Apart from the 8am BCP service at St. Peter’s) because we will all be joining St. Michael’s at Otterton for their patronal festival. The good people of Otterton are very excited by this and I do hope that as many people as possible make the short trip to Otterton for the opportunity for us to worship together as the Raleigh Mission Community. We are making use of the community Bus for those who need it most and there will be a sign-up sheet for that service on a first come first served basis.
Genesis 28: 10-17. “Jacob’s ladder” is one of those memorable bits of the Bible where the role of Angels is as a precursor to an encounter with the Divine. In both Hebrew and Greek, messenger and Angel are the same word, so the difference between an angelic or human messenger is provide by the context
Hebrews 1: 5-14. The qualitative difference between Angels and Jesus is being expressed here. The redemptive and authoritative person of Jesus as Son of God is being compared to Angels which are “Spirits in the divine service” of mankind
John 1: 47-51. “Angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man” recalls Jacob’s ladder in Genesis and means that these messengers from God will deliver God’s words directly to Jesus. Angels again seen as messengers or intermediaries from God.
In a new initiative, stemming from Louise’s talk at the Dinner club we have decided to stage occasional talks on Wednesday evenings in the Peter hall at 7pm that reflect common concerns held by many people. We have three planned so far.
2nd October – Dementia. Recognising it, living with it, how to best avoid it, chances of having it etc. – Presented by Prof. Louise Jacques.
23rd October – Mental health. Keeping a healthy mind. Presented by Rev. Karen Young who is also a mental health nurse.
· Due to unforeseen circumstances, the mental health talk will have to change to 30th October. Will confirm next week
11th December – End of life and questions of death. A presentation we hope will be given by myself and David Boorer from Palmers funeral care offering spiritual and practical information.
Next Dinner club is 7th November.
Our Winter warmer with Bishop Richard Hawkins giving the address after our lovely buffet style dinner is £18.50 and that the signup sheets will be attached to the pew sheets from the 6th October.
Thought for the day
One of the most thought-provoking talks was given on the subject of Angels by the author Peter Stanford. Belief in Angels now rivals belief in God. In fact, rather remarkably 7% of atheists actually believe in Angels. Within the Judaeo – Christian tradition angels are “messengers of God” but in our modern world the link between angels and God has seemingly been severed, with angels being spiritual beings with no explicit link with divinity. The reason for this I think is that a belief in angels doesn’t make any demands on anyone. Angels don’t come with a list of expectations or responsibilities. There is no moral code one has to follow or liturgies one has to attend. It is a belief tailor made for the 21st century of increasingly non-committal belief that makes no personal demands and the sole purpose of angels is to protect a person, in the sense of a guardian angel. The notions of angelic beings do then fulfil one very important aspect of Christian belief – that of unconditional love and care “from above” or outside this physical realm.
The Prayer for today is the prayer the author of “Angels”, Peter Stanford used to recite every night before bedtime in his staunch Roman Catholic household.
Angel of God
My guardian dear
To whom his love commits me here,
Ever this night be at my side
To light and guard,
To rule and guide
Love and peace,