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Stotfold Methodist Church

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Thought of the Month

October

From Revd Ruffin Binda

You are given three minutes to make a tribute at a farewell or wedding: you end up using two minutes acknowledging the presence of so - called important people and one minute for the tribute.

James 2:2-3 states, "you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, 'Have a seat here please,' while to the one who is poor you say, 'Stand there,' or, 'Sit at my feet.' Have you not made distinctions among yourselves?"

We make distinctions every day. Whose company do I want to be seen in so that I'm seen to be popular; who will I never go out with because they don't wear designer gear? Judge everything on appearances and you'll get places - not just any place, but places of honour, so we are led to believe. "

James is clear. Don't make judgements on the basis of looks, or status. Don't treat some differently from others. Don't presume that those who appear better off can have the good places or have special mention. God has other ideas ...." As people of the way; the Truth and the Life, is it ever appropriate to acknowledge perceived important people? I suppose it depends on why we deem them as important.

When Jesus preached in a synagogue, with all the important religious male persons in the front row, Jesus' gaze went to the periphery of the gathering and He noticed a woman who was severely bent and was unable to stand up straight. So, it is from this seat at the centre of the upper level, that Jesus sees this woman. Maybe because this woman was so out of shape that no one could miss her! Maybe because it was Jesus' style to focus His eyes on those in the periphery! Whatever the reason he sees her, He stops in the middle of a sermon! I am imagining that the whole synagogue was silent then!" (Luke 13:10-17).

He calls the woman from the lower level to the upper level. It must have taken her sometime to get to where Jesus was. Everybody must have thought, "No! that is the men's level, no woman should go there!" And Jesus said, "Woman, you are set free from your ailment."

"Wow!" would be the human response. However, the "important" people up front did not say that there indignant, because Jesus had not "followed protocol" by observing the Sabbath.

If you are going to be up on the stage, you have a choice - you can choose to look only at those selected to sit in the reserved front row, or you can scan the periphery and see who is deemed less important.

Yes, protocols are a way of showing respect to those present, but let us align them with the tenets of the teaching of Jesus and James, and start with those on the periphery.

When we acknowledge those persons regarded as the least among us, we acknowledge the person of Jesus (Matthew 25:45). If we only acknowledge the important ones, do we perhaps end up side lining Jesus?

We have to look people as Image of God without focusing on their appearances or social status. Loving people as image of God is also bringing Christ present in our context, church and life.


Ruffin Binda

 

We are situated by the crossroads right at the heart of Stotfold. We extend a warm welcome to everyone, whether local residents or those 'just passing through'.

The present building was built in 1869 and still serves the local community.

Our Sunday morning services usually take place at 10am, although a couple in the month start at 9.30am. Check on the 'Sunday Worship' page to make sure.

One of our monthly services is based around the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

See the 'Sunday Worship' page for details of our Services.

 
 

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This Month's Quote
Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. "Therefore, beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest."
Matthew 9: 37-38