The invitation to share in God’s joy

Rev. Dr  Katherine Rainger with Bishop Mark Short, at the Y12 final Chapel Service

Rev. Dr Katherine Rainger with Bishop Mark Short, at the Y12 final Chapel Service

By Andy Fleming, Associate Chaplain

Andy Fleming, Associate ChaplainAt the risk of sounding too much like a cliché, Year 12 enjoyed their final day of school last Friday, and they are to set off on new journeys, with the world seemingly at their feet. God has trusted them with skills and blessed them with the resources, inviting them to use them to make the world a better place. In the Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus teaches the disciples what they should do with the resources, gifts and talents that God has blessed them with. 

In the Parable of the Talents, a wealthy landowner leaves each of three servants large sums of money. The first two went out and worked to double the money they were given, whilst the third took a conservative, “play it safe” approach and buried his share, for fear of the landowner. When the landowner returned, he was impressed enough with the efforts of the first two servants that he gave them extra responsibilities, whilst the third’s fear proved his undoing. The landowner took away what he had provided to this servant and threw him “out into the darkness.” At first glance, it is understandable that you could be mistaken for thinking this parable may be about sound economic management. Indeed, Jesus used many examples of his time and culture for his listeners to better engage with his message. This parable is concerned with using what God has blessed you with to further reveal God’s love and justice. 

Many times, I’ve listened to the warning provided to us by the actions, of lack thereof, of the third servant. If we sit still with what God has given us, and allow fear to rule our decisions and actions, we are likely to live in sadness and despair. In contrast, we should focus on the actions of the first two servants. They accept God’s invitation to live in joy through living out His trust in them. As Year 12 leave, I am confident that their time at Radford has equipped them to use their skills and abilities to the betterment of the world in which their journey takes them. 

It was great to be part of Year 12‘s Final Chapel service. Year 7 students shared their appreciation for what Year 12 have meant for them. The students gave us all a rousing rendition of Blind Man, and everyone was treated to The Blessing, performed beautifully by Hannah, Stella, Michael, Finn and Peter.  The highlight was the PreKs singing the Irish Blessing. There was hardly a dry eye in the Chapel, such was the joy shared by everyone in attendance. It was a great way to farewell this Year 12 who have shown such strong character and patience in the most challenging of years. May the following words from Jeremiah 29.11 be an encouragement to for Year 12: 

“For I know the plans that I have for you.” Says the Lord, “plans for your welfare, and not for harm, to give you hope and a future.” 

A blessing for Year 12: 

As you leave this place,
May the mercy and grace of our Lord
Be yours to share.
May the life that you live
Be the gift that you care,
So that all may know He cares. 

May God provide each of us with peace.
Chaplain Andy


PS: Message from Rev. Katherine:

In addition to the Junior School Giving Tree project, Secondary School students are invited to bring donations of gifts and food items for Anglicare to the Christmas tree in the library.

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