I went to holy Communion this morning which involved a fairly long sermon. The time after Christmas which is a celebration of the birth of Jesus, is very important to Christians and the reading today was the first chapter or part of the first chapter of St John’s Gospel. In the most magisterial and visionary way, St John is trying to convey in words the enormous sweep of our world receiving a visitation from the son of God, not the only attempt but one that we are familiar with. It brings shivers to me each time I hear it
1.In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God;
3 all things were made through him,
and without him was not anything made that was made.
4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him.
8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.
9 The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not.
11 He came to his own home, and his own people received him not.
12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God;
13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
The preacher reminded us that Jesus understood only too well what it was like to be abused, insulted, deliberately misunderstood, rejected and of course to be killed for his faith. We think mistakenly of Jesus as a holy distant figure who is preaching to us but he was the one who walked his talk, who was obedient to his Father consistently throughout his life. Interesting that he did not start his ministry until the age of 30. Some people say that he visited Glastonbury here in the United Kingdom. Who knows?
Those of us who stand up for anything which makes people awkward for whatever reason can expect a dose of hostility or ridicule. This is one of the many ways that Jesus is an exemplar to us.
Krishnamurti was unique in that he dissolved the movement which he had formed and in his name. He felt that no one should be follower and they should find truth within themselves.
I find the most comfort in Christianity. Maybe it is because I was bought up in the Christian faith. My father was a Church of England Vicar – a disadvantage as well as an advantage. It is good ‘software for the soul’.
I came across the film (below) which compares the attitude to and treatment of mental health in the West and that in so called traditional or primitive society. Certainly work a look if you know someone who is ‘mentally ill’ and taking regular pills.