The title of this post is taken from the heading of the July prayer intentions. Each month the intentions strike a particular theme and it is apt that we should focus upon the area of wisdom and learning at a time that schools close for the summer holidays and the long University holidays continue. We have time to reflect a little about how the pandemic has affected students – young and old. We should also think how Christian teaching may enable us to learn from past mistakes so that we make practice wisdom and seek out people and places of wise counsel.
Jesus comes to us as a teacher: “Jesus simply offers himself as the model to follow. He alone is the way to God. Follow him and we will find God.” (From the Homily attached below). It is this teaching, this modelling, that we are most concerned about today. How can we model Christ in a way that is authentic and real? How can we continue to desire to be attentive to our teacher so that we can find the mystery which is God?
Many of us are able to remember one teacher in our lives who was able to make a difference. It might have been at infant school or perhaps at University but through their words and actions something came alive in us. The same, and more – much more, is to be said of Jesus. There was something about his wisdom and learning that turned heads and fed minds and lightened the soul. When he first opened the scriptures as a teenage boy in the synagogue and read from the scroll verses from the prophet Isaiah, there was something in his understanding of the text which brought new meaning.
In the service today, we give thanks to God for the path that we tread. We follow our teacher as protogés – desiring that we may understand our vocation through Christ’s wisdom and learning. Let us also give thanks for teachers at this time, in whatever guise they take, and pray that they may be given God’s grace, perseverance and fortitude to continue in their vocation. In particular, we pray for those who are wearied by virtual teaching and the lack of personal connection with their students. Let us thank God that our discipleship, our learning as Christ’s students can never take place in the virtual classroom. Our wisdom and learning has to come from the reality of Christ before us and within us. Please use the prayer intentions each day this month.
Bishop Steven presides in a special service honouring the NHS. You can view the service via the diocesan website. The downloaded order of service can be found by pressing this link: https://www.oxford.anglican.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/DOX-060-NHS-OoS-v2.pdf
The CEF foodbank collection
Everyone was so generous to the foodbank last month – we delivered 265 items, way above our long term average and almost twice the volume of the May collection. On behalf of CEF – Thankyou! The collection for July will be Wednesday 8th July at St Michael and All Angels church door, Lonsdale Road, from 11.00am – 1.00pm. Malcolm Sadler will be there as usual (suitably distanced and masked when needed) to receive items. Everything will then be delivered to Cowley the following day.