Thought for today
15th October 2017
James' introduction to todays readings.

Introduction and Reflection


All over the world people struggle to live, trust, share and make friends with those they perceive as different. At present that negative feature of humanity is being expressed against the Rohingya peopleof Myanmar. But in our own country hate crime is increasing, and we have suffered deeply from the hatred of terrorist attacks. We have also had statistics recently published revealing huge inequalities in our society between various groups, about which the prime minister has pledged to take action.

This feels a timely moment for us to think and pray more about the challenges and opportunities of living and thriving with difference.

Our readings today will help us listen to God and his will for us of live, love and thrive in diversity.We will hear the prophet Isaiah’svision of God's Holy Mountain, where all people's, nations and languages will gather, united together as one. Jesus paints a similar picture of heaven, where those preoccupied with self turn their back on God and his invitation, whereas the outcasts are gathered as one into God’sHeavenly Feast. St Paul is writing to the early Christians in the ancient city of Philippi, a very ethnically and class mixed group, commending their unity, and urging them to ‘let your gentleness be known to everyone’.

What are we to make of the man at the end of Jesus’ parable who insists on his special garments and is given no place at the Feast? Could he be someone who wants to exclude himself from the common fellowship,segregating himself with an air of superiority?

Let us be inspired to be a united Body and go out to live and work for the same.


Think back to a time when you have felt a stranger, or excluded, or alienated from those around you. Ponder on how it might feel for new immigrants into our nation today. Pray for them.

Be honest with God about your own struggles to overcome your prejudices, to see and know others as God does.

What can you do to bring more unity and mutual respect and working together in Royton and Oldham, in your workplace, in your family, and our nation.


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