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Connecting Community

Thursday 26 August 2021

In Chaplaincy Online today I retell the story of two shipwrecks on Auckland Island in 1864, The Invercauld on the north-west, and the Grafton on the south-east. Both have very different outcomes for their crew. One believed in ‘every man for themselves’ the other believed in the power of community.

In the reading today Jesus tells a parable of a shepherd who had a hundred sheep and loses one of them. In discovering his loss, he leaves the ninety-nine and goes after the lost sheep. Jesus relates this to the value of our lives and finding our way to him. He seeks after us and cares about our situation. He will not leave us to survive on our own.

These shipwreck stories present a picture of how our lives might be feeling now. We feel helpless, anxious, not sure about what is ahead. We may even feel we are in ‘survival mode’.

These stories also present an invitation to live life, even in the midst of turmoil, one of two ways – for yourself or for the benefit of others. Captain Musgrove showed a way that ensures the survival of all, through maintaining his connection to the needs of others and ensuring they are cared for.

The pandemic and lockdown present us with this unique opportunity, even in being distanced from loved ones. We can watch out for each other, call one another up and check in with someone that we feel concerned about.

Be encouraged in the knowledge that you are loved by a God that seeks after you. You are safest in connection with others, and you will get through this tough time as you commit to being part of community.

College Chaplain, Rev. Paul Morrow


A message

We invite you to view a recording of this week's message.

A reading

Luke 15:4–7 (The Message)

4–7 “Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbours, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.

A prayer

God of comfort,
You are a God that seeks after the one
You are a God that seeks after all
You are a God that invites everyone of us into your love
To be apart of a community much bigger than ourselves. 

As we reflect of the power of community
The power of sticking together
Of giving of ourselves to something bigger than ourselves
Help us to see our value in your eyes
Help us to believe that we matter to you and our community
Help us see past our own anxiety and to look at how we can support others. 

God of Comfort
Help us to put our lives into your hands
And may we feel your peace and love in our lives
Today and beyond today.

In Jesus name we pray Amen