What an extraordinary week we have lived through. A time of great upheaval, distress, anxiety, fear, anger and sadness. A time that asks every South African to do some deep introspection. A time where the world asks us many questions. As leadership we gathered on-line to debrief and speak through the best way to hold space for our community, and decided that this calls for an on-line service where we can just connect and experience a sense of belonging. A time to pray together, discern together and be renewed by the presence of Jesus among us. For those of you who are unable to join, please know that you are with us in spirit and we stand in solidarity with you. Our Gospel this morning has Jesus moved with compassion at the crowd gathered around Him. For they were like “sheep without a shepherd”. This image in scripture is an allusion to leadership, and Jesus feels the compassion seeing a people who are not receiving what they need from the leadership of their day. For those of us who feel this way, Jesus stands with you today moved with compassion ready to meet you in that need. The Gospel goes on to describe how the crowds bring their sick and lay them in the street where Jesus passes by, trusting that even to touch the hem of His garment will bring healing. Again this is an invitation to each of us to come to Jesus in prayer, seeking His special touch in those places that we may as individuals or communities need the healing power of our Saviour. Our Collect for today asks God to give us that stillness that restores our spirits, that grace that brings healing—again a powerful reminder that God seeks to meet with us in our deepest need and brokenness. AND we have also seen the resilience of our people. As communities have come together across every division to protect lives and property, we give thanks to God for the spirit of our nation. May these images of hope inspire you to continue to believe that the future although uncertain holds possibility.

Pray for me, I am praying for you.

Reverend Anastasia Huntley

18 July 2021