From the Associate Rector

 

Dear Friends,

On the 13th of August I was invited to be part of a ceremony in Spencer Road to bless a paving stone inscribed with the name of Robert Spall, who was born in the road in 1890.  He was killed in battle in the First World War, and awarded a Victoria Cross for bravery. You can read more about him later in this magazine.

The ceremony itself was a curious affair. The suburban road off Churchfield Road was closed for the morning while soldiers paraded, the mayor made a speech, the Last Post was sounded, and this clergyman led some prayers in full robes.  Several passers-by stopped to watch, and I wonder what they made of the spectacle!  It’s not something you expect to see in the back streets of Acton.  Now that the fanfare is over and the street is open again, I guess many people will walk past this paving stone with scarcely a thought for what it signifies.  But to those who pay attention, it’s a reminder of what others have given in the past so that we might live in freedom and prosperity.  It’s a reminder of where we have come from; by remembering the past sacrifice of people like Robert Spall we are energised to live differently in the present, fully embracing our liberty.

Jesus told parables likening the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed, some salt and some yeast, things that seem insignificant in and of themselves, but have the power to transform their surroundings for good.  Like the paving stone, many people will pay no attention to the seemingly insignificant signs of the Kingdom of God.  But to those who have eyes to see, the Kingdom shapes the present because of a past event; the death and resurrection of Jesus.  When we consciously live out Jesus’ death and resurrection, we remind ourselves daily that we are no longer enslaved to sin and death.  We are free to serve God and each other with joy and fulfilment.

So pay attention to the signs of the Kingdom in your life, your family and in Church. Embrace them and allow Jesus’ life and death to be no mere historical event, but something that is life-giving and life-shaping today. And next time you walk down Spencer Road, look out for that paving stone outside number 16.

I wish you all a happy and blessed end to the summer, with particular thoughts and prayers for those of you starting new schools, courses and jobs in the weeks ahead.

Dean


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