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Vicar's News 3 May 2020

Click here for Sunday’s video service


This is Good Shepherd Sunday and we are blessed to have Fr Roger Featherston preaching on this occasion.

In the twenty-first century, in a society where very few of us are personally involved in the care of sheep, most of us nevertheless welcome the spring season for its associated vision of lambs gambolling on the hillside - though we barely pause for breath before reaching for the mint sauce!


Many of you will remember the old adage: ‘Australia was foundered on the sheep’s back’. With over a billion sheep in the world today, the humanity-sheep relationship represents one of the most successful example of symbiosis between human beings and animals on the planet.


Sheep are the first animals mentioned in the Old Testament and Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and King David were all shepherds.

So, Jesus knew that not only were his listeners familiar with sheep as actual pastoral animals, they would also have been aware of their symbolic and religious significance over the centuries as animals of religious sacrifice. Still, it is quite a leap to go from that to describing his followers as sheep, as Helen Roenfeldt comments:


“In Luke’s gospel, Jesus compares people to sheep, and that’s not a compliment. Sheep are very weak animals. A sheep is not very clever either: you may see a trained elephant, horse, or dog, but not a trained sheep. A sheep is defenceless: a horse can run; a wolf can bite; and a cat can scratch; but a sheep cannot defend itself.”


People who are easily led are often compared to sheep. In fact, perhaps the least flattering aspect of the comparison is the idea that, herded together, all we, like sheep can be bent to our Shepherd’s will in a moment. In fact it is at this point that the metaphor breaks down as, unlike sheep, we know that we have free will.

So what should we read into the parallel? First of all, perhaps, a sense of humility as we recognise our place in the scheme of things – the city whizz kids who claim hubristically to be ‘masters of the universe’ may be in for a shock as they, along with the rest of us, discover we are not required as strategic managers, but vulnerable children needing to be protected and guided.


Secondly, although Jesus stresses in this morning’s reading that he knows us all by name, we have value not just as individuals but as part of a community.

And thirdly, I think, he wanted to offer us reassurance, a feeling of being protected in a safe haven. After all, Arcadia always included sheep and, as J S Bach’s aria puts it: "sheep can safely graze where a good shepherd watches over them". This image retains its ancient power to sustain us through the darkest of times.


Fr Ian

Face masks are available if you require them. Please contact Michelle or Ian on 0403 642 178 or 0421 321 321.

St Andrew’s Communion Packs


Whether you are watching our video service each week, or wish to partake of Holy Communion in your own time, we are now offering ‘Communion Packs’. Having sourced suitable containers, we have prepared Communion Packs for use at home while the church is closed. The Packs including six wafers for Home Communion, together with a short Order of Service for receiving Home Communion and some reflections on the gift of the Blessed Sacrament.



If you would like a Communion Pack please contact Fr Ian by phone or SMS on 0421 321 321 or by email at vicar@standrewsbrighton.org.au and we will arrange for them to be dropped off for you.


Dealing with self-isolation & social distancing


Daily prayers can help give structure to our days for those who are house-bound with more time for thinking and reflecting. You may wish to consider the following phone and tablet apps (some of which require subscription):

Click here for Sunday’s video service


今天是好牧人的主日,我们很幸运有Roger Featherston牧师在此布道。


在21世纪,在一个我们很少有人亲自照顾羊群的社会里,我们大多数人仍然欢迎春天的到来,因为它带来了羊羔在山坡上嬉戏的景象——尽管我们在伸手拿薄荷酱之前几乎不会停下来喘口气! (传统的英国烤羊肉配薄荷酱)

你们中的许多人会记得那句古老的格言:“澳大利亚是在羊背上建立的”。今天,世界上有超过10亿只羊,人羊关系是地球上人类与动物共生关系中最成功的例子之一。

羊是旧约中最早提到的动物,亚伯拉罕、以撒、雅各、摩西和大卫王都是牧羊人。

所以,耶稣知道,他的听众不仅熟悉羊是真正的牧养动物,他们也会意识到几个世纪以来,作为宗教祭祀的动物,羊的象征意义和信仰意义。尽管如此,要把他的追随者描述成绵羊还是有相当大的飞跃,正如海伦·罗费尔德评论的那样:

“在路加福音中,耶稣把人比作羊,这不是赞美。羊是非常虚弱的动物。羊也不是很聪明: 你可能会看到一只受过训练的大象、马或狗,但不会看到一只受过训练的羊。羊无防御的能力,马能跑。狼会咬人; 猫也会抓; 但是一只羊不能保护自己。”

容易被领导的人常被比作绵羊。事实上,这种比较最不讨喜的一面。可能是,我们所有人,像羊一样,聚在一起,可以在某一时刻屈从于牧羊人的意志。事实上,正是在这一点上,这个比喻被打破了,不像羊,我们知道我们有自由意志。

我们应该从这个类比中读出什么呢? 最重要的是,当我们认识到自己在事物规划中的地位时,或许会产生一种谦卑感——那些傲慢地宣称自己是“宇宙之主”的金融城神童们可能会感到震惊,因为他们和我们其他人发现,我们不是战略管理者,而是需要保护和引导的脆弱孩子。 第二,虽然今天早上的读经中,耶稣在强调他知道我们每个人的名字,但我们的价值不只是作为个人,而是作为社区的一部分。

第三,我认为,他想让我们安心,一种被保护在安全港的感觉。毕竟,在阿卡迪亚一直都有羊,正如J S巴赫(J S Bach)的咏叹调(aria)所写的那样,羊可以安全地在有好牧人看管的地方吃草。这幅图像保留着它古老的力量,支撑着我们度过最黑暗的时代。





Whether you are watching our video service each week, or wish to partake of Holy Communion in your own time, we are now offering ‘Communion Packs’. Having sourced suitable containers, we have prepared Communion Packs for use at home while the church is closed. The Packs including six wafers for Home Communion, together with a short Order of Service for receiving Home Communion and some reflections on the gift of the

无论你是每周观看我们的视频崇拜,还是希望在你自己的时间领圣餐,我们现在提供“圣餐包”。找到合适的包装后,我们准备了圣餐包,以便在教堂关闭时在家使用。每个包装包括六份家庭圣餐的圣饼,以及一份简短的圣餐礼的崇拜程序。

If you would like a Communion Pack please contact Fr Ian by phone or SMS on 0421 321 321 or by email at vicar@standrewsbrighton.org.au and we will arrange for them to be dropped off for you.

如果您想要一份”圣餐包“,请通过电话或短信0421 321 321或通过电子邮件vicar@standrewsbrighton.org.au联系Fr. Ian。我们会安排派送。


 
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