Service involves sacrifice.
When I was small I loved the story of St. Martin. A man who when he met a beggar without clothes in the middle of winter used his sword to cut his own cloak in half to clothe this poor man – an act of instinctive love.
He was a Roman soldier and became a Christian at a young age. He left the military in the years before 361AD and joined the church. He became Bishop of Tours in 371AD and was known for his opposition to the violent oppression of those who disagreed with the State.
But, it’s the story of the cloak that continues to grab the attention. After he had cut his cloak he went to bed that night and experienced a vision – Jesus came to him in his dream dressed in the cloak that he had given to the beggar and said “Martin, who is still but a catechumen, clothed me with this robe”. He woke to find that his robe had been restored to its full and complete length.
This vision profoundly affected St. Martin (who wouldn’t be!?) and he was baptised at 18.
An interesting historical side note is the impact this cloak had on our language. Priests who cared for the relic of the actual cloak that St. Martin wore were called ‘cappellanu’ and subsequently all Priests who served in the army were called ‘cappellani’ or in French – ‘chapelains’ which is where our word for ‘chaplain’ comes from.
Also, the little churches that were set up to care for the ‘little cloak’ when it was on tour were called ‘capella’. Ultimately those small churches lost their association with the cloak – and became ‘chapels’.
All this from a cloak cut in half to care for the poorest. All this from an act of instinctive love.
Inspiring stuff. Who will we serve this week? What sacrifice will we make that will be repaid a 100 times by Jesus?
Sunday School NEXT WEEK.
No Thursday Fun & Fellowship this week.
The funeral of Norma Pigott will take place here at St. Anselm on Wednesday 29th November at 11am.
The Christmas Tree and Town Lights turn on will once again take place at St. Anselm, this year on the 16th November at 4pm with a joint primary schools choir concert and the switch on at 4:30pm. The mayor will be with us once again.
Please sign up for Parish Giving (which is a wonderful way to support St. Anselm and helps us claim more money from the government) Go to www.stanselm.co.uk/giving or call the Parish Giving Team directly on 0333 002 1271 quoting our parish number, which is: 230 623 503.