Bishop Martin’s message to Parish Clergy

Dear all, this was part of Bishop Martin’s message to parish clergy, but it applies to every Christian.  It is a timely reminder that we are all called to be servants one to another. – Sharon

In my own prayer reflection on this global crisis, I have been reminded of the important role that older people play in the Bible’s account of God’s plan for our salvation.   

Abraham and Sara, Eli, Naomi, Elizabeth, Simeon and Anna are all examples of the decisive intervention or response of an older person, out of which comes hope and blessing.  In most cases, they are also closely connected with hospitality and the worship of the temple. 

This epidemic requires us to pay special attention to anyone who is vulnerable, and especially to the older people in our society.  Learning the art of paying that attention is likely to be a very good thing for us.   

We need to listen before we judge, to learn before we patronise, and to be patient in understanding the needs of people whose fragile dignity we should be protecting. 

These are skills that should also characterise our attention to holy scripture and to the texts of divine worship.  It is through the practice of attention to scripture and worship that we can become what we are now most urgently called to be; agents of prayer and hope, walking signs and sacraments of God’s love.