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04.05.2022

‘Love is the only message for serving Jesus’ – Lord Bishop John Sentamu

‘Love is the only message for serving Jesus’ – Lord Bishop John Sentamu
Bishop John Sentamu pictured with Christian Aid Chief Executive Rosamond Bennett (wearing red) and Rev Dr Liz Hughes, Chair of Christian Aid Ireland and volunteers and supporters in Christ Church Cathedral. (Photo: Christian Aid.)

Lord Bishop John Sentamu was in Ireland at the weekend on his first visit here since becoming chair of Christian Aid globally. The former Archbishop of York was the preacher at the Cathedral Eucharist in Christ Church Dublin on Sunday morning (May 1). Archbishop Michael Jackson was the celebrant. After the service he met Christian Aid staff and supporters.

Bishop Sentamu began his sermon in song – ‘Hard Day’s Night’ by the Beatles. Drawing on the Gospel reading from St Luke he noted that the disciples had been fishing all night but had caught nothing.

For Peter there was unfinished business, he said. He had denied Jesus three times on Holy Thursday by a charcoal fire. Now he had had a hard night’s work and had caught nothing but Jesus turned a hard night into a good day. He told the fishermen to cast their nets again and they pulled them in full of fish. When they came ashore, they realised it was the Risen Lord – he had helped them with their work and had cooked breakfast. Then beside the fire, Jesus asked Peter three times: ‘Do you love me?”

Bishop Sentamu said Jesus drew Peter out. “Peter loved Jesus – always had done, always would… Jesus died for the forgiveness of sins. He does just this with Peter. He forgives him and rekindles him. The ministry of Jesus was given to Peter because he loves Jesus,” he explained. “Love and not affection is the only message for serving Jesus. Actually what matters is that we love him. Our bad days and nights are never too hard to come to Jesus.”

He contended that when we receive a commission from Jesus, he expects a proactive response from those he has forgiven.

Bishop Sentamu reminded the congregation of the words of St Teresa of Avila in ‘Christ has no body but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours, Yours are the eyes with which He looks Compassion on this world”. He finished by urging everyone to go together and make him known.

 

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