Anglo-Catholic Churches in Bath
Leaving the centre of Georgian Bath and crossing the river Avon by the world famous Pulteney Bridge, you are already in the Parish of St. Mary the Virgin, shortly to be joined on your left side by the Parish of St. John the Baptist. Together these form the United Benefice of Bathwick.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Once again, it felt immensely sad to be in a near-empty church this morning to offer the sacrifice of the Eucharist for the people of our parishes. I hope some of you watched the service via Facebook or joined in prayer in your homes. I am continuing to pray for you all; for all those who lie, work or worship in Bathwick; and for all those affected by the virus outbreak in our own community, throughout the nation and the world. I have now worked out a way for non-Facebook subscribers to watch a recording via YouTube using this link: https://youtu.be/WinjgNVm9Xs
As most of you will know, we have had the pleasure of welcoming Chris Absolon, an ordinand from Trinity College, Bristol, to our parishes during this season of Lent – and although the placement has clearly not been what we expected, I had asked Chris to do a homily this morning, and he kindly sent me the text of his short reflection on the gospel which was the raising of Lazarus (John 11); I am copying it below for your own reflection.
Do contact me or another member of the church leadership team if you’re feeling lonely or anxious or in need of support.
With my love and prayers
Revd Peter Edwards
Rector of Bathwick
(h) 01225 460052
(mb) 07776 227555
Romans 8:6-11; John 11:3-7,17,20-27,33-45 (raising of Lazarus)
Homily (by Chris Absolon, ordinand)
Perhaps we remember Martha as busy and complaining, distracted by her tasks while her sister Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to him. However here in John 11 we see her amazing faith and trust in Jesus, in spite of her grief about her brother Lazarus’ death, and we read her amazing conversation with Christ.
Even though she is disappointed that Jesus didn’t arrive before Lazarus died, she keeps faith in Jesus—‘Even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.’ In the difficult times that we face we may well feel disappointed in God—let us follow Martha’s example and keep faith in Jesus.
Martha believes in the resurrection of the dead and has an expectation that Lazarus will rise on the last day, but then Jesus makes the extraordinary claim ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.’ The dead will be raised on the last day, but in addition Jesus brings that future promise into the present—he says that he ‘came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.’
Our future is uncertain, but we are sure of our ultimate destiny in Christ, and of his life-giving presence with us here today. Let’s echo Martha’s answer to Jesus when he says ‘Do you believe this?’ by declaring ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.’
Fr Peter celebrates Mass – 28th March 2020
At present all events are cancelled