To be a Pilgrim

Gatekeeper Butterfly

We listened to and sang in our hearts, guide me o thou great redeemer, pilgrim through this barren land?…Do you think of yourself as a pilgrim on a journey?

As Christians, I think we should all consider we are pilgrims and our lives a pilgrimage, but there are specific times when we put aside time to travel to a special sacred place and look and listen for signs of God seeking to teach us something new, during the journey as well as at the destination.

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Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them

Christchurch Brentor           Matthew 18:12-22            6th September 2020

Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.  v.20. That is a very well-known promise that we Christians like to claim as a great encouragement. Commentator William Barclay puts it like this: Jesus is just as much present in the little congregation as in the great mass meeting. He is just as much present at the Prayer Meeting or the Bible Study Group with their handful of people as in the crowded arena. He is not the slave of numbers. He is there wherever faithful hearts meet, however few they may be, for he gives all of himself to each individual person.

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Jesus said: ‘Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me’- the example of Saint Damien

As I was meditating on our gospel reading, the words of the great old hymn by Charles Everest kept going through my mind:

Take up thy cross the Saviour said, if thou wouldst my disciple be

Deny thyself, the world forsake, and humbly follow after me.

The words ‘take up thy cross’ come just after Peter has tried to impose his own plans, his own ideas on Jesus and was thoroughly rebuked…..get behind me Satan… are setting your mind not on divine things but human things…..Headstrong Peter and the other disciples were sure they knew best and needed to learn to humbly follow and trust God in all circumstances, even if it seems totally counter-intuitive. You’re not in control, or, as Eugene Peterson in the Message paraphrase puts it: Jesus says: You’re not in the driver’s seat, I am- Jesus is! Jesus was calling them, and us too, to a life of self-sacrifice humbly following after him.

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Jesus, Julian of Norwich, St Teresa of Avila & Coronavirus

Feeding The 5000 from

Now when Jesus heard (how John the Baptist had been killed by Herod), he withdrew … in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them … Matthew 14:13f.

Jesus, human being like us, needed space to think and pray and be with his grief for his cousin John. A little later on from this episode and on many other occasions he succeeded in doing just this. But when his plans were thwarted and he was faced with human need he responded with compassion.

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Candlemas 2019

Candle in the darkness

The Presentation of Christ in the Temple – Candlemas

A sermon by Rev Tony Vigars on 3rd February 2019

A question for you to ponder upon while I speak: What is the connection between my sermon and a two pound coin?

In the north east corner of St Eustachius’ Church in Tavistock you will find what has been called their finest stained glass window. One designed by the Victorian Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones and produced in the workshops of William Morris. Sadly, due to an unforeseen chemical reaction, some of the colours and writing have deteriorated badly over the years.

I was sitting in that chapel for a communion service and whilst waiting for it to begin I took in the window. Huge portraits of ten men proclaim how our Christian faith is rooted upon and grows out of the faith of the Jews. On the bottom row of figures are pictures of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Moses, Daniel and Jeremiah. Above them are arrayed Matthew, Mark, Paul, Luke and John. All of them carry either a writing quill, engraved tablets of stone or a book or two of those things. The New Testament, the window is saying, is founded upon the Old Testament.

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Reflecting God’s Love

How do we share God’s presence with others? It is this difficult question I found myself discussing with friends recently. It is all too easy to place yourself and what you do at the centre of everything – after all surely it was my hard work that meant that the last person came back to church. How wonderful I was! I take a step back, see my pride and decide to become less physically involved. So I pray. But no one comes and I feel the call to do something. So where does this leave us?

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A shining city on a hill

Welcome to the first blog on the new Brentor Church website! This has been a really exciting week for us, with the new solar powered lights being blessed by Bishop Nick on Sunday.

The bishop’s sermon made me think, too, about what we as a church are about. Yes, of course the Church is the people – but the church as a building still has a role. Bishop Nick (suffragan bishop of Plymouth) said that a church like ours serves three purposes…

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