St Laurence, deacon, martyr at Rome

Jesus said to his disciples:

I tell you, most solemnly, unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest. Anyone who loves his life loses it; anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for the eternal life. If a man serves me, he must follow me, wherever I am, my servant will be there too. If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.

—John 12:24-26

Photo by Eduardo Braga on

Today’s Gospel is for the Feast of St Laurence, Deacon, Martyr at Rome. St Laurence has a special place in my heart for he is the patron of the Church of England parish church in the parish to which I moved in Oxford back in September 2004. Sometimes, it is hard to believe that it is so long ago. In the intervening time, so much has happened, but I will never forget the people and church of St Laurence in South Hinksey. They taught me so much about being church in a particular locality.

On reading, and re-reading the passage above, I am struck by the words of the Lord:

If a man serves me, he must follow me, wherever I am, my servant will be there too.

Following the Lord, is what He calls us to do, but following Him means we become servants. Whatever we do for the body of Christ (which is the Church) we do for Him. He is where the Church is. The Church can be represented by where two or three are gathered. At this time, this is likely to be on an online call as much as in some church building in a particular locality.

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