A PAGE OF JOY

Please cast your mind back to Sunday August 25th.
Two seemingly unconnected things happened that day, firstly Fr. Tom's thought provoking sermon touching on why we come to church, asking how our lives are changed by our attendance and what difference does the sermon make to us.
Remember?
      The second thing was that the September issue of the Church Magazine was made available to readers, including The Page of Joy, waffling on about wine and vines.
With those two things in mind, I’d like to say this: 
      I can speak for no one else, but for this weak little branch, if I didn’t tie myself closer to The Vine by regular church attendance, I would have collapsed with my face in the mire many years ago – and many times since.
Without that strong support, I don’t know how I could have coped through the drought, heat, storm, frost and gales of life.
      To kneel and receive Our Lord in the bread and wine of Holy Communion is to receive His life, His strength, His unconditional love. He isn’t just fond of me (and you) He loves me (and you) so much that He lived and died for us and promised to be with us forever, closer than a heartbeat, closer than a breath, in this Holy Sacrament.
      We all meet with our Brothers and Sisters around our Fathers Table, week by week, with smiles and cheery words, not really knowing what is going on under the façade, but we gain grace from being with them, and they from us, as Jesus intended.
      Lives changed? Oh yes, lives known to be held in firm, secure hands, lives given the courage and resolve to carry on trying ones best every day, lives made joyful by love, given and returned, this is lives changed from darkness to light.
      And where else could I sing out my love and thankfulness to God, with all my heart in my singing, apart from in church, without getting myself locked up?
To receive and give love, just the thought makes me fill up.
      If the words of a sermon help with all this - great, if they help to turn us into a William Wilberforce, a Mother Theresa or a Martin Luther King so much the better, if they bring repentance and gratitude for sins forgiven, if they help us to do small kindnesses day by day, to open our eyes and hands to need and our hearts to thankfulness – if they make a difference to a relationship, either with God or with our neighbour, surely good words have been spoken.

      There was another thing that happened on Sunday 25th - I finished reading a book called “Three Things about Elsie” by Joanna Cannon. 
I’d enjoyed reading this engaging novel, and two of the Three Things are repeated throughout the story, but The Third Thing readers are left to work out for themselves.
So – “Three Things about Going to Church”
Tying ones-self closer into The Vine.
Meeting with Our Lord and the Parish Family around His Table.
- - - This is the one you must work out for yourself!


 
  ​​Joy Yorke