Sunday, 23rd week of Pentecost

Text: Matthew 16:13-20

Prayer Pointers:

For the life of the Church

For grace to see our brothers and sisters as Jesus sees them

That God would grant such gifts as the Church needs

IN HIS FAMOUS BOOK The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis has Screwtape lecturing his nephew on the Church:

One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans. All your patient sees is the half-finished, sham Gothic erection on the new building estate. When he goes inside, he sees the local grocer with rather an oily expression on his face bustling up to offer him one shiny little book containing a liturgy which neither of them understands, and one shabby little book containing corrupt texts of a number of religious lyrics, mostly bad, and in very small print. When he gets to his pew and looks round him he sees just that selection of his neighbours whom he has hitherto avoided. You want to lean pretty heavily on those neighbours. Make his mind flit to and fro between an expression like ‘the body of Christ’ and the actual faces in the next pew....

Let us not make the mistake that our opinions or feelings are most important; it is Christ that makes the Church, and those with whom we share life in our congregations are invited and welcomed there by the same Lord who invited and welcomed you and me. Let Christ guide our interactions with our brothers and sisters, and let the tempters of Hell tremble!

May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks


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