This was one of the former Bishop of London’s favourite phrases. It was used to symbolise the spiritual battle being waged against secularism, despair, isolation and apathy. “Keep the rumour alive” is a call to proclaim the same Christian faith which had confused and confounded many pagans and cynics throughout the Christian centuries. The “rumour” of Christ’s resurrection, of his victory over death, of the Good News that we are loved and cherished by God, is worth “keeping alive” today.
The rumour of the Easter event spread rapidly across the land called Holy and throughout the Mediterranean region. Christian communities were formed, churches were founded and fellowship increased between tribes and nations. This surge of Christian growth took place despite persecution. In fact, persecution only seemed to further demonstrate the Christian narrative where joy always seemed to follow suffering. Paul’s writings are full of this theme. The mission of the Church then, as it is now, is to keep this rumour alive despite the challenging voices whic
h are loud and hollow.
To be a Christian today is deeply counter-cultural. Our contemporary idols attempt to reduce the Easter faith into a place of myth and magic, deeming it irrelevant in an age of noise and knowledge! The ‘rumour’, however, leads to life and generosity and a joy which is difficult to define in an obsessional culture. The rumour is kept alive in our baptism as we share Christ’s ministry in our walk through life. The rumour proliferates as we choose to identify ourselves in the divine beauty of the Christ-life.
On Sunday, the rumour of Christ’s presence, fully alive, will be shared in Summertown, firstly among those who gather for the Confirmation Service at 6pm at St Michael’s. But the divine spark will continue to spread and like the refiner’s fire, it will purify those who seek to know Christ and for him to be known.
Pray, then, for these witnesses – 3 to be baptised and 12 to be confirmed (and one to be received into the church). This is a joyful event in the life of our parish and partnership. Christ is alive; he is risen, indeed. Alleluia!
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