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On This Rock

Jesus changed Simon's name to Peter (which translates as rock or stone) to emphasise the transformation that had taken place in Simon-Peter and the role he was going to have in the (early) church. On this Rock... I will build.... So, Peter was not simply to be a rock but a foundation stone.

In so many companies or institutions there are foundation stones - often called something like core values: respect, resilience, tolerance, adaptable, capable, honesty, integrity... The list is endless. Even our diocese has its core values: faithful, confident, joyful.

Jesus taught much about these 'core values' as he spoke about our relationship to God, to our neighbour, and to the world we inhabit. However, when he came to build his church he chose people as the foundation stones rather than abstract concepts. You are Peter and on this petros (rock) I will build my church.

On the feast of St Peter once again men and women have been ordained as priests and deacons in the Church of England - our curate Rhona was one of those ordained priest. I too was ordained at Peterstide many years ago. At every ordination I am reminded that as servants of God and his people we are called to a life of prayer, lived in close relationship with God and with those we have been called to serve. The gospel must be lived in relationship with others.

An institutions core values are of no benefit if they are not followed. In the church we are called to a life of prayer, following the teaching of Jesus. If we do this then God can and will build his church.

Fr Philip

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