Friday, April 12, 2024

ALTAR CALL: Don’t give up or give in to evil

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GOOD WILL ALWAYS be opposed. Even Jesus was opposed for the good He did.

Rev. Beverley Sealy-Knight made this declaration to a group of congregants gathered at St Mary’s Anglican Church in The City for last Friday’s Mass.

“Good will always be opposed. We note, however, that Jesus does not give in to opposition,” she said. “He does not succumb to pressure. Instead, He confronts it and makes it clear that evil has no power or control over God and God’s plan of salvation for the human race.”

“Today we are reminded that we should not expect to find life easy; certainly not the Christian life. We too will encounter the forces of darkness and evil which seek to oppose God’s goodness and grace. Sometimes that opposition will come from within.”

Both Sealy-Knight, rector of St James Parish Church, and her husband Rev. Reginald Knight, of St Mary’s, officiated at the service, during which communion was served.

Sealy-Knight, basing her sermon on Luke 14:1-6, told those gathered: “Our Lord Christ is persistent and His love for God’s people enables Him to pursue the charted course outlined by grace, highlighted by acts of mercy, acts of healing, of instruction, of patience and forgiveness.”

She added that with recent negative events occurring in Barbados and the wider world, it was so tempting to adopt an air of resignation that all was lost.

“It is so easy to throw our hands up in despair as we worry over the uncomfortable affairs of our lives. We are unable to comprehend the callous behaviour, the selfishness which exists and the way how we treat each other – with little or no compassion and understanding.

“We are saddened by the belief that the only way to exist or succeed is to be cold, calculating, devious and be like a shark or a barracuda in business and even in relationships.

“We are distressed by the loss of life and so we find ourselves lamenting, mourning.”

She reasoned that while Christians should mourn and weep over their troubles and those of the world, they should not do so like those without hope.

“Remember, the early Christians [also] faced evil in various forms. [They] experienced pain and suffering but St Paul rallied [behind] them with these words: ‘We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed but not driven to despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed . . . ’.

“So we do not lose heart. We fall on our knees time and time again confident that God is still very much in control of this world and that evil will never overcome God’s eternal good.”

The minister declared: “We will rise each time more determined to say and to do those things which bring light and hope and to be those light bearers who in turn pass the light to others so that God’s truth lives on long after we are gone.

“We will become more observant of the miracles occurring every day but which often pass unnoticed, unrecognised and unappreciated, and we will give testimony to them.

“We will not give in to the darkness. We will not give up or give in. We will face the evil and engage the struggle. We will be those bearers of justice, love, peace, reconciliation and hope in our homes and in our neighbourhoods.”

The morning Mass was made extra special with the presence of congregant Hilda Herbert, who was one day away from celebrating her 90th birthday. Both ministers, church sexton Mylene Haynes and the congregation congratulated her. 

To have your sermons featured in Altar Call, please email cherylharewood@nationnews.com

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