Reflections on the readings



European and African national leaders met this week to discuss the refugee crisis. They have agreed to try to reduce the number of those attempting the dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean, by introducing ‘pre-asylum’ registration centres in Chad and Niger. These moves come after several years of lobbying for a more humane response to the refugee crisis by various groups and individuals, including the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury. As Jesus’ rebuke of Peter shows, challenging those who are in authority, or who assume authority, is part of our role as bringers of God’s kingdom. Peter was operating from good motives but had missed what God was doing in Jesus. Christians need to have confidence to rebuke those in authority when they see things happening that are contrary to God’s justice and grace.

Andy Murray has pulled out of the US Open with an ongoing hip injury. This is apparently an historic injury that he has struggled with throughout his career. We often describe something like this as ‘a cross I have to bear’. Murray’s reasoning for pulling out of this tournament is that, by resting his injury, he will be more likely to have success at future tournaments. When we look at people succeeding in life, we often gloss over the suffering and pain that they have gone through on their journey. We are not called to ‘success’ as society around us would categorise it, but whatever we do in life we can expect difficulty and pain. Church is a place where, as fellow followers of Jesus, we need to encourage each other in our times of pain as well as celebrating with each other when things go well.

British actor, Ed Skrein, made a statement this week by turning down a part in a Hollywood superhero blockbuster after a backlash that the character he was due to play is Japanese-American in the original comics. This follows ongoing accusations that Hollywood ‘whitewashes’ films by casting white Caucasian actors as characters of other ethnic origins. Skrein’s stance will have cost him a Hollywood blockbuster salary, but he argues that it is the right thing to do. We might not have such a public decision to make, but following Jesus is costly too. As Christians, we should expect our choices to lead to things being less comfortable for ourselves, in doing so we are following the example of our Lord.












Page last updated: Friday September 1st 2017 8:01 PM