The Good Ship Abbey

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Here we are on Bathwick fields. It is one of my favourite views of Bath, now that we live this side.

And there is the Abbey, like a ship in full sail, in the morning light. A Christian landmark in this city – a city founded as a place of worship. And as we look we see other “ships” - a flotilla - there’s St Johns Roman Catholic church, St Michaels, St Stephens Lansdown, others near and far. I think then of the house groups – we met ours last night by “Zoom” – so good to see the faces of regular prayer partners; then I remember the Houses of Prayer – a network lattice of Christian presence in our community.

God is the one constant in a world of uncertainty and fear. The song says it so well:

“Faithful one, so unchanging – you are my rock of peace, all through the storm, your love is the anchor…"

And we are seeing new acts of kindness in our community. Neighbourhood groups looking out for each other. The Christian foundation of our society revealing itself in new ways.

It is a great collaboration. And offers hope. We are called to encourage each other, keep meeting (at the moment by phone and FaceTime), to “hold unswervingly to the hope we profess” as the writer of Hebrews says.

At times of crisis – whether exile or illness – the Christian community finds a new opportunity to tell of this hope by thoughts, deeds and words. And so as we look on the good ship Abbey – and the other good ships – one convoy in the morning sun, I am reminded of Jesus, praying to his Father:

“I pray also for those who believe in me through the message of the disciples. That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you sent me."

That is the message of salvation. May God bless us today.


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