Keith Harrison expressed our pleasure at welcoming Rev. Roger Baker to lead our service on Sunday. Roger was the minister who welcomed and guided our church into the Market Drayton circuit over 10 years ago. He took for his theme Sanctuary Sunday, the end of Refugee Week. Rod Smith was our organist.
Keith led us in reading Psalm 145 together and Jill Harrison read to us from Matthew 15 where Jesus meets a Canaanite woman with a tormented child and feeds 4000 followers. Roger drew our attention to Jesus’ original cool attitude to the non Jewish woman – not what we expect of him. But her pleas to heal her daughter fill him with compassion and his feelings are changed. This is his first venture outside Israel. It shows his humanity. Attitudes can be changed by experiences. He responds to her faith in him. In feeding the crowd he exemplifies God’s abundant grace and love for all people.
Roger went on to talk about our attitude to genuine refugees today. They are desperate, helpless and dependent on us for survival. If we reject them they are condemned. We were then invited to discuss the plight and problems of Ukrainians sheltering in this country and Syrian refugees in a forgotten camp in Jordan. We must think of these people as individuals and help them as much as we can.