“Whoever has seen me has seen the Father”.  Words spoken by Jesus to Philip and in this coming Sunday’s Gospel reading from John 14: 1-14.

Over thirty of us met up on Sunday morning via Zoom, thank you Mike Oxborrow for hosting, to chat and see each other on what would have been the Barns Pratronal Festival. It was obviously good for members of both church congregations to have a chance to catch up, some after a fairly long period, if only visually rather ‘than in the body’.

As a Christian community and faith, we are blessed, unlike those other two great faiths Judaism and Islam, to have a God who we find not only in the Old Testament but also in the New Testament.  A God, who in the Old Testament, is often portrayed as distant, seen only by a chosen few and at times all powerful and frightening;

whereas in the New Testament we see a God who is full of humility, healing care, compassion and love, we see our Lord Jesus Christ.

This God who not only suffers with us, but also for us, who takes our sin onto himself and gives to us that power, that lives on in the Holy Spirit, to show that love and compassion one to another.  In these present times, a spirit we see working every day in our Doctors, Nurses and Care Workers as they work with those suffering from the coronavirus.  Also all those others who give up their own time, and sometimes safety, to look out to the vulnerable in our society.

In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 25: 35. it is written, “I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger and you received me in your homes, naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me”.  “I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these people of mine, you did it for me!”.

We heard last week that the Rev’d Peter Holmes, longtime vicar of Norbiton, had lost his fight against the coronavirus.  He had throughout his time at Norbiton championed the cause of the homeless and those society so often overlooked.  We are told that his final words to his family were, “Love God, love each other, run with Jesus”.

We are blessed that we have a God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who not only we can run with, but who will always, through thick and thin, be running with us every day of our lives and into eternity.