Message from the chaplain - 21 September 2018
And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and
sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. 11 When the
Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher
eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard this, he said,
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are
sick. 13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I
have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”
This text describes a gathering which would not ordinarily be found eating together. Christ’s was a ministry of drawing in and welcoming each, creating the kingdom of God on Earth. Tax collectors, women, children, foreigners, and those with skin diseases feared to be contagious – all these Christ drew in.
As we celebrate Heritage Day, I reflect on my experience of celebrating the same day a year ago. In my interactions with members of our St Mary’s community, some felt Heritage Day was about what we have in common.
Others felt that Heritage Day is a celebration of the beauty of how different we all are – the richness of our diversity which must not be lost in our celebration of what we have in common. It is part of the identity of South Africa that there is such diversity present. These two interpretations of Heritage Day are not that different: a celebration of our diversity is a celebration of what we have in common.
The Eucharist, as a re-enactment of the last meal Christ shared with those around him, is just such a celebration. It is also a vision of the kingdom here on Earth which we are called to co-create, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Each time we go out from the Eucharist, we need to be aware that we commit to bringing this vision about in our everyday interactions and surrounds.
Revd Claudia Coustas