Everything you wanted to know about Christianity
at the Anglican Parish of the Otways
Please join me each week for our reflections
of sermons conducted during our church service.
Plus, occasional splashes of humour and epiphanies!
With much Love and Blessings
Rev. Jenny Brandon
MANY of us had family members who served in the armed services.
I remember seeing photos of these family members in uniform
but nothing was ever spoken about their experiences.
I particularly remember my maternal grandfather,
a gentler man you would not find,
and any mention of war caused him to
retreat into himself.
Even as a child I could see that the impact his experiences
was one of incredible pain and grief.
It would have been so easy for him to turn very bitter
from his experiences but not so.....
his focus was to make something good from his life,
and he generously supported fellow diggers
as they returned from WW2.
There is a parallel here to Jesus Christ
and the despair of his family and friends....
how easy for them to be all discouraged and give up
but not so, even under suffering and persecution
they continued on as Jesus would have wanted them to...
in fact, they carried on as Jesus instructed them too,
sharing his love and salvation
and being prepared to die for him.
This time of year often makes us think:
What is life all about?
What have we learnt through wars and battles
throughout our history?
What have we learnt about peace?
For me, wars drive me to reflect on the greater
need of peace...
for each and every one of us to make our
contribution to peace even in the smallest of ways...
in our families, amongst our friends
within our community.
To me it means a life of serving,
serving God so I can then serve others...
being an active agent of peace and love
where he is glorified by my actions.
God wants us to live in the knowledge of
who he truly is because he wants us to know
fulfillment, completeness and joy in our lives.
In John 15:16 Jesus makes profound statements
about our relationship with God.
He says : You did not choose me, I chose you and gave you this work to go and produce fruit, fruit that will last’. John 15:16
Jesus wants us to produce fruit, the fruit of the spirit...
love, kindness, joy, peace,generosity, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control ... Fruits of the Spirit...
Another strong desire of God is that we love one another,
a mandatory requirement for all Christians...
’no one has greater love than this...
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends’...
and that implies not necessarily dying for others
but to serve others in Christian love,
putting others first,
and in that.....we may have to change,
become different... we may have to let go of the old self.
And this is the example our service men and
women give us, the selfless service of others,
so that the world may be a bit safer,
more peaceful and secure.
May God be with our Service men and women
who play their role in representing who we are
and what we should represent as Christians.
The Lord be with you!
About the author
Rev. Jenny is an ordained Priest of the Anglican Diocese delivering services at Anglican Parish of the Otway churches every week.
With great depth of knowledge and a spiritual practice that shows she walks her talk and has taken her to the far reaches of N.T. Australia working with indigenous youth and elders.