At the heart of today’s Gospel is the reminder that we never follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ on our own. We see here Jesus sending out his disciples in pairs. They are asked to share the transforming good news of Jesus Christ not alone but with another person. Ministry is always a collaborative endeavour; it can never be just the vicar’s task, rather a task that is shared with each and every person by virtue of their baptism.
So what might this have to do with #ThankYouSunday? One of the many lessons of the past 15 months is that whilst we are indeed thankful for the technology that keeps us connected, we would rather spend time face to face. Human beings are created for relationship with God, with each other and with creation. We need one another in order to flourish, in order to be fully human.
There have been so many examples of care and prayer during the pandemic. Much of it goes unrecognised, as Jesus was not recognised by those who knew him best. So #ThankYouSunday is an opportunity intentionally to thank someone who has reached out to help you: shopkeepers, teachers, those who recycle the rubbish, the post-people, friends, families, next door neighbours and people from our places of worship and community groups. As we thank others, let us also ponder the fact that the cultivation of a spirit of thankfulness is not simply something for one day only, rather a spiritual discipline that can shape the whole of our lives.
I take this opportunity to thank all of you who have made a difference to my life during the viral pandemic. I am grateful for faith. I am grateful for you all.
Rev Canon Nikki Arthy, Rector