Wednesday 26 August

Thought for the day from Patrick Taylor

This week many of us have remembered the apostle St. Bartholomew (his feast day was on Monday). We don’t know much about him (and the fact that he is traditionally to be called upon by those who suffer from a twitch doesn’t really help us) but the gospel reading used on his day has taken on a new meaning in these days of on-line church: “a dispute arose among the disciples as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest” (Luke 22. 24). I’m sure clergy are not the only ones to have been prone to comparing their church with the one down the road, but now that most of us are displaying our wares openly on the internet every Sunday, the temptation to “check out the competition” is, for some, irresistible. But Jesus has seen this one coming. Our task, now more than ever, is to serve the Kingdom of God, rather than trying to build our own church empires. There is a place for everyone at the table in this Kingdom, not just for the successful, popular and well regarded. So when someone grumbles that your worship isn’t as good/slick/entertaining/relevant/trendy (delete as appropriate) as St. So-and-So’s down the road, take heart that, as long as you are leading people to Christ, you’ve brought someone else to the table, and there it’s Jesus who does the work of the Kingdom, not us, for “I am among you as one who serves” (v. 27).

The Revd Patrick Taylor is the Area Dean for Fosse