St Barnabas Church, Joydens Wood

Vicar’s Letter July/August 2018 “Voiceless!”

I have had laryngitis, and completely lost my voice!

I’d had a sore throat and was feeling pretty rough but I managed to get through two church services, followed by a church lunch, but then during the second part of the Sunday afternoon, my voice began to just fade away. By the evening I couldn’t speak at all. And strangest of all, even when I yawned, no sound came out!

During that week, I had a curious feeling of helplessness. If I wanted to convey something to someone, I would have to write it down. If something bad happened I could not have called for help. If I tried to answer the phone, the other person thought there was a fault on the line! Thankfully my voice came back (albeit sounding rather strange) within the week.

And in the time of my enforced silence, I began to think about voicelessness. Often being mute is associated with being deaf. In Mark chapter 7 Jesus heals a man who man “who was deaf and could hardly talk”. For many there is a sense that those who might be termed deaf and dumb are cut off from society. But that is not so! I once sat in a restaurant next to a group who were using British Sign Language and they were having a fantastic time, chatting away using gestures and facial expressions to convey their thoughts and it seemed to me quite a lot of rather naughty jokes! Maybe they were taking the mickey out of me, who knows!

But there is another kind of Voicelessness. In Proverbs chapter 31 verse 8 we read “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.”
There are so many unheard voices in our world, those who are poor and weak and vulnerable, victims of the system, of corrupt regimes and of bad environmental practices by big business.

Many Christians are involved with food-banks, night-shelters and fundraising for various needs. That is admirable and to be commended a way in which we live out the Gospel, loving our neighbours as ourselves.

However, it is not enough to just patch up the problems in our society; we all must also be part of the solution, helping to prevent these problems developing in the first place. Desmond Tutu said that “as Christians, we need to not just be pulling people out of the river. We need to be going upstream to find out why they are falling in.”
God bless
Reverend Ren Harding
contact me at The Vicarage, 6 Tile Kiln Lane
01322-528923 renharding@hotmail.co.uk

God bless
Reverend Ren Harding
contact me at The Vicarage, 6 Tile Kiln Lane
01322-528923 renharding@hotmail.co.uk

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