Rural Dean's Letter - December 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

You are by now some distance into your Interregnum. I trust you are finding the journey, if a little complex, not too demanding. I use the word journey because this is what you are on. You are the church. It is good to have someone to pray for you, look out for you, seek out with you what is best and most fruitful for you in your ministries both as churches and as individuals... but you are also still called to follow Christ and to model Christ to others when that someone is not yet alongside. After all, the most important 'someone' is still alongside and will never leave you: Jesus.

When I think of you and pray for you, I remember that you are just as much followers of Christ as those first disciples. The early church. And, in following Christ, we find ourselves - as did the disciples after the Ascension - at the place between Jesus' coming and return. At this place we are still in a fallen world. What does this mean? Well, I think it has something to do with Incarnation. The fact that God chose to come and dwell among us as a living, breathing, eating, sleeping human being. Just like us. A fact we will, of course, dwell more on over the Christmas period. But in becoming one of us, God, through Christ Jesus, and entering into our fallen world, put himself in harm's way.

Bishop Jack Nicholls once pointed out that through choosing to follow Jesus, we enter at that place where we find Him still: that place between the pain of the world and God's grace. It is a place Christians are meant to be. Called to be. A place where no one else can be or has been called to be in quite the same way. If we choose to follow Christ, therefore, we, too, are called to be at the place where pain and God's grace meet, waiting for Christ's promised return. When Jesus calls, and we choose to follow, we may not understand why - we may even recoil from some of the choices or stands we might subsequently be asked to make. But, it is not so important what we say and do when we get there - rather, it is simply important that we are there. We will find that it's our job to be there. Jesus will have called us in order to be present at that particular place at that particular moment. Nobody else.

If we choose to follow Christ with all of ourselves then that is, surely, also where ultimately we will find ourselves. Our true selves. The selves we are meant to be, made to be, by the God in Whom we live and move and have our being. Just as the first disciples did, we may well find that true self at the place between Jesus' coming and return, and we may well find that true self at the place between the pain of the world and God's grace.

May God bless you as you work his purposes out with Christ and on Christ's behalf. Amen.

Rev'd Martin BoothRural Dean of Sevenoaks


2016
Webpage icon Rev'd John Benson's Eulogy
Webpage icon Rector's Letter - October 2016
Webpage icon Rector's Letter - September 2016
Webpage icon Rector's Letter - August 2016
Webpage icon Rector's Letter - July 2016
Webpage icon Rector's Letter - June 2016
Webpage icon Rector's Letter - May 2016
Webpage icon Rector's Letter - April 2016
Webpage icon Charity Visit to The Gambia - February 2016
Webpage icon Rector's Letter - March 2016
Webpage icon Rector's Letter - February 2016
Webpage icon Rector's Letter - January 2016