Friday, June 17, 2005

New Archbishop of York Announced

The new Archbishop of York has been announced. He is the Rt Revd Dr John Sentamu (not that titles mean anything to me, or impress me in the slightest), and it will be very interesting to see how he takes things forward (assuming they do go forward and not backward).

I was very impressed by his predecessor - Dr David Hope, who "resigned" his post because he believed revival would come from God through the parishes, God's people... not through (and certainly not from) the General Synod. How right he is, and the clergy should take notice of his wisdom and insight.
I have high hopes for Archbishop Sentamu, I don't know him personally, but I am very excited by his choice of words upon the announcement of his appointment:
“I am looking forward to working with the Archbishop of Canterbury and other bishops to lead the Church of England in its mission to the nation. It is imperative that the Church regains her vision and confidence in mission, developing ways that will enable the Church of England to reconnect imaginatively with England.
“It is important that the Church of England’s voice is heard locally, nationally and internationally, standing up for justice, bringing Good News to the poor, healing to the broken-hearted, setting at liberty those who are oppressed, and proclaiming the death of Christ and his resurrection until he comes again. What an exciting prospect.”
Note the final paragraph of that. He's loosely quoting from Isaiah 61... the same verse that Jesus quoted in Luke's gospel:
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
This scripture was given to our church too... several years ago. It's a scripture that has bounced around a lot for a few years now. I really believe that when we as a people, fall into step with the Holy Spirit... instead of trying to kick start the Church in our own feeble strength, we will truly see that scripture fulfilled. When Jesus said it, he was referring to himself. Now, as Christ's ambassadors we are called to be Jesus to the people we meet. We can only represent Jesus, if we allow him to work within us.
The only way we can do the things that Isaiah, Jesus and Archbishop Sentamu speak of, is if the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon us.
May it be so.

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