My Father is the reason I am here.
For those readers of the blog, you may have realised that I am taking a spiritual journey through the visiting of different Anglican churches across the island of Barbados. Right now I am in the island of St. Lucia, vacationing with my sons. The decision only seemed obvious to visit an Anglican Church.
I know that it is away from the original plan to visit Churches highlighted in the calendar. But there is a connection. Allow me to give some background to this visit of Holy Trinity Church in Castries, St. Lucia.
One of the churches which I covered a few months ago was St. Leonard’s Anglican Church. Quite recently the priest-in-charge was the Reverend Sonia Hinds, one of the first female ordained priests in the island of Barbados. For some time she was the priest of Holy Trinity Church. I communicated with her the desire to visit an Anglican Church on my visit to St. Lucia and she organised it well. My earthly father was also an Anglican priest and he was influential in the life of Reverend Sonia Hinds. He and my mother mentored countless young people during the 1970’s at the All Souls Anglican Church in Barbados. Reverend Sonia Hinds attended that church. She adopted me as her sister when I was born and our relationship continues with that connection of my earthly father.
Never was there a person to emulate our Heavenly Father like my earthly father. The way he lived his life was always to the glory of God. He was a simple and humble man, who never cared for a position or promotion given by man, but cared about the spiritual well being of God’s people. This was reflected in the sermon given by the Canon Curtis Robinson, from the Bahamas who officiated the service at Holy Trinity.
Canon Robinson meaningfully directed the service. He implored the congregation to stop reciting the words and to slow down and meditate on the beautiful meaning behind the prayers, inspired by scriptures which were nestled in the pages of our Book of Common Prayer. His sermon was themed: “Humility brings favor with God.” All of the Bible passages of the service were related to the theme, especially the one taken from Hebrews 13: 1-8 and 15-16. Incidentally it was read by the sister of the lady who brought us to church. Our conversation on our ride to church exposed a challenge of the Anglican Church which I will conclude this blog.
However with reference to the sermon, Canon Robinson stated that we should not be concerned with what others have. We should only be concerned in our identity in Christ. Climbing the social ladder and not having Jesus in our lives is reflecting the proverb that pride goes before a fall. Hopefully there will be some Christians below to catch you when you fall. Even one of the songs which the congregation sang lustily was “I’d Rather Have Jesus”. The second verse expounded upon the fact that being the king of a vast domain paled in comparison to having Jesus. The simple things in life feel so much better. Like a small two bedroom home with family to make it warm or eating a simple warm bread and cheese. Pride and comparison robs you of joy. Finally Canon Robinson ended his message with this gem of knowledge: be careful how you treat people in this life, for you never know that you may be down and out and the person whom you dislike may be the only person who can help you.
It all comes down to this simple truth: Treat people as you would want to be treated. This variation on the golden rule gives a platform for the conversation on the drive to Church, which would make for an emphatic conclusion. St. Lucia is predominantly Catholic and the lady who drove me to Church revealed the strategy. The Catholic Church did a survey and asked the young people what they wanted out of church. For instance some young people complained that Church was too early since they had to get ready for school during the week and do lessons on the Saturday, so getting up early for Sunday was a challenge as well. They needed a later service. The lady also made the point that the Anglican Church has less youth and more people on the “way out” as she referred to the older section of the congregation. If only they would change. Just implement one or two ideas from the young people for they are the essence of the Church. Without them there will be no future.
Yet it is because of pride those in power in the Church would not change. Change is constant and it needs to be embraced even though it may be difficult at first. That links us to the essence of this blog. We are here because of Our Father. He wants us to live lives that bring Him glory. Instead of seeking power and position and what others have, we should seek out ways to help out each other and develop our relationships to reflect the grace and mercy of God.