A year or so ago I attended a celebration at Lambeth Palace. Besides the archbishop, there were many other bishops present and guests from all around the world. All there to honour a frail 90 year old gentleman who had them all in awe. Kenneth Cragg is the leading scholar in the world today on Islam and Christian mission in the Arab world. He has written 30 books, all of them classics using a typewriter. His words are so distilled you have to read each sentence several times to have any hope of understanding its meaning. After the Archbishop and various Bishops had expressed their appreciation, Kenneth spoke with humility and erudition about his love of the Lord Jesus Christ. He summed up his long life, his academic studies, his contribution to our understanding of Islam and interfaith relations in one sentence – “Confronted by the love of Christ, we have no choice.” I like that because it sums up why we are here, I hope: Confronted by the love of Christ we have no choice. No choice but to serve the one who in loving service gave his life to set us free. Serve the one who in loving service forgave our sins, who in loving service gave us eternal life. The apostle Paul explains it like this, “For Christ’s love compels us.” (2 Corinthians 5:14) For Christ’s love compels us. That is why we serve and that is why we are here.
On the night that he was betrayed, Jesus, “got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” (John 13:4-5). Then, “when he had finished washing their feet [all 24], he put on his clothes and returned to his place. Do you understand what I have done for you? He asked them” (John 13:12). Do you understand what Christ has done for you? Lets look at these verses in a little more detail for Jesus has provided us with a model.
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Photos from the Church Council Away Day