Less News, Less Social Media, More Prayer

Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach  

Matthew 13.2

THE IDEA of a crowd of any kind gathering at the moment seems a subversive one. Just meeting the ten or eleven people who had come to Llangennith last Sunday for a few minutes of private prayer inside one of our North Gower churches seemed a rare treat. Hopefully, we will be able to hold a formal act of worship before very much longer! Of course we can’t take that for granted. We know we must be patient.

     When Matthew wrote his Gospel, he was writing it for a community who had completely lost their place of worship. The Temple had recently been destroyed by the Romans and the priests all put to death. So when Jesus’ teachings are recounted by Matthew they are directed into that situation. The Jewish people were split, even down the middle of families, cities and villages. Remember Jesus’ words a few Sundays ago about bringing the sword rather than peace. Many people wanted to rebuild the Temple and re-instate a priesthood as quickly as possible and were putting their energy into planning and agitation for that. Matthew’s community, however, were not supportive of that. They followed Jesus and had come to understand his teaching as bringing them to the Temple within themselves. It was here they were to worship, here they would find the kingdom of heaven already present.

      The sower in the parable does not dig over the soil before he sows the seeds of the kingdom. He simply throws the seeds indiscriminately; they fall everywhere. The kingdom of God is everywhere. The kingdom of heaven is available to everyone. But it is up to each one of us to turn over the soil in us that we may open ourselves to what the Spirit is saying to us in this time. Watching the News and listening for government instruction is one thing but it is the Spirit of God that will tell you the truth and it is Christ and Christ only in whom you will find the security your soul cries for. Try taking less news, less social media, and more prayer.

~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on July 10, 2020.

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