Listening To God's Call
Sunday 8th July 2012The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu today writes in The Sun about God's call on our lives, Going For Gold and hospice care. His column follows in full...
This weekend, the General Synod of the Church of England is meeting in York. Members of Churches from every part of England, and visitors of other churches and from overseas, will be meeting together, worshipping and praying together, and discussing together some of the issues which we have to resolve as our Church moves forward.
As we all share Holy Communion in York Minster, and the words of the Collect for today will remind us of what God has called us to do:
Almighty and everlasting God,
by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church
is governed and sanctified:
hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people,
that in their vocation and ministry
they may serve you in holiness and truth
to the glory of your name;
This prayer is good news. It reminds us that it is God who governs the Church; and it is God who calls us to fulfill our vocation and ministry – not for our own personal satisfaction or credit, but for his glory and the wellbeing of all.
But what is this calling?
When we think of vocation, we tend to think of priests, or nurses and doctors, or teachers. But God is calling on you – on every single person - to fulfill the potential and use the gifts he has given you.
There is a famous picture of Jesus standing outside a door, holding a light:“Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
The door in the picture has no handle on the outside – it can only be opened from inside.May each one of us listen to his call, open the door and respond to his invitation today.
Going For Gold
The call of Jesus Christ to fulfil our potential comes to children as much as to adults.
It was a joy to welcome around 130 school children for an Olympic themed day of workshops at Bishopthorpe this week.
We had a baking challenge where the pupils made some fantastic bread, although many ate it before their parents had a chance to see it! We also did some drumming and rapping together and learnt about the importance of good leadership.
The Olympics is a good opportunity to remember what can be achieved if you work hard.
With God on your side, you should always aim high, because absolutely anything is possible!
This week, I am looking forward to spending time with 150 long serving volunteers for a local children’s hospice, Martin’s House, which celebrates its 25th birthday this year.
I am always struck by the positivity and joy that comes from everyone at Martin House, despite the sadness of why the hospice exists. God has called some wonderful people to serve in that place to be a blessing to the children and families they care for.
The £4.9 million needed annually to provide this care and help for terminally ill children and their families comes nearly entirely from private contributions. (Only 12% comes from statutory sources such as Primary Care Trusts.) That means a lot of fundraising!
I know times are tough for everyone, but you can make a real difference for these families by giving what you can to ensure this valuable work continues.
In Yorkshire, we understand the importance of looking out for others and being a good neighbour. We know that it’s important to be there in the good times and in the bad times. We also know actions speak louder than words. Please visit www.martinhouse.org.uk to see if you can help.
A Prayer for Andy Murray
Loving God we are so filled with hope by the Wimbledon final today! Guide Andy Murray in the choices that come to him with every ball. Make us all the best that we can be, by your Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ, to the glory of God our Father. Amen.