Monday 22nd May 2023
Dear Jeremy and St. Johns Family
At the start of my Easter term break; I was invited by Natalie to preach at St. Philips Church. It was the second week in Eastertide and the Gospel reading for that morning was about Jesus coming to be with the Disciples in the midst of their confusion, their anxiety, and their fear. They were locked behind closed doors but Jesus appeared amongst them and said to them “Peace be with you” it was a significant and profound encounter for the disciples in the aftermath of the good Friday events. As i was preparing to share that morning, I reflected on how that moment, a moment of deep assurance for the worrying and doubtful disciples is at the centre of the Gospel story. That Jesus comes to be with them even though they’ve locked everyone out, that Gods love transcends boundaries and barriers and walls.
It was a moment where Jesus both embodied and declared the imagination of His reign on earth as it is in Heaven. That the kind of reign God comes to bring is one of shalom; where fear of one another, fear of the unknown, fear of self is usurped by radical hospitality and generous grace. That in that reign; the ones who doubt can see and touch and the ones who are fearful have an opportunity to face themselves and one another. It is the wonderful discovery of the Gospel that God in fact invites us all into the work of reconciliation and peace.
I have come to learn over the course of my first term at seminary that God is especially in the places and with the people with whom i maybe wish God wasn’t. It has been a challenging discovery for me as I make sense of both my vocation but also the community of which i am part of for the better part of this year. It is God who stands in the middle of chaos and pronounces Peace, it is God who comes to be present with the ones who doubt, the ones who I have ignored, the ones who i think is not worthy of the call, the ones who are not ready - God stands with them and beside them and pronounces peace; the making of radical restoration and transformation into the fullness of Gods creation in Christ.
As I write to you now; we are in the middle of Term 2, heading towards the end of my first semester at seminary. As you can hear - it was been a very challenging and sometimes even tough time for me but I am also really thankful for this year, for the opportunity to be in present in this moment and all that God is doing in me as i am being prepared for this next chapter of my life, the next chapter of ministry. There is a quiet excitement slowly brewing in me as I find my rhythm, develop deeper connections with my fellow pilgrims and grow in my faith and spirituality.
But all of this would not be possible if Lindsay and I didnt have a community who believed in me. So thank you, thank you thank you so much for your support and prayers. For your friendship to both lindsay and I as we journey towards this next chapter that God has called me into.
Please continue to pray for us; this time apart has been really really hard for us and also very challenging. Some days we feel like we can’t make it and other days we remember that we can do hard things. We remain appreciative of the very good community we have around us and your ongoing support.
We love you deeply
Peace be with you
Ordinand in the Diocese of Cape Town e: firstname.lastname@example.org