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Dear St. Luke’s Community,

Here’s the question of the day!

There are, no doubt, many plausible answers to the above question, but the image here comes from the promotional materials to a new film being released nationwide this coming Friday. It is from Amazing Grace: The Epic Story of William Wilberforce. Wilberforce was the member of the British Parliament most responsible for the outlawing of the Slave Trade in the early 19th Century. He was a protégé and friend of John Newton, Anglican Priest, and author of the hymn after which the film is named. Newton’s disillusion with the slave trade came from first hand experience and after having a conversion experience he penned the words to the famous hymn and yet would have to wait some 50 years for the courage and faith of his convictions to ‘come true’ as part of the national fabric of England needed to be rewoven in light of its endorsement of and benefit from the trade of Africans as slaves.

The film opens this Friday in theatres everywhere and shows the possibility of faith and truth triumphing (finally) over the powers of economy, politics and the status quo. It is important to note that the impetus to right this reprehensible wrong has at its core the message of the Gospel. The answer to the previous question for us who proclaim Jesus is simply faith. Jesus says that if we have but the faith of a mustard seed we can move mountains (Matthew 17:20). The key of course is that our will and desire is aligned with that of God.

As the Lenten season unfolds, especially for us here at St. Luke’s Church, I ask you to ask yourselves what mountains might God be itching to move. Then I bid you pray with all the faith you can muster for those mountains to be cast into the proverbial sea. What is most important in all of this is stated clearly in the words of the Lord’s Prayer as we say, “your kingdom come your will be done, on earth as in heaven.” Remember the goal of faith, prayer and ministry is always to align ourselves and our actions with the will of God. Too often we pray (in whatever circumstance) for God to be on our side. Another great abolitionist said when asked if he prayed, answered, “Yes I pray, but I pray not so much for God to be on our side, but for us to be on God’s side.” Those words were spoken by on Abraham Lincoln more than 50 years after the abolition of the slave trade in Great Britain.

To find out more about the film, go to Go see the film. You’ll also find good discussion resources on the website as well.

Peace and Good,

The Rev. Warren Earl Hicks, Rector
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
921 Pleasant St.
Worcester, MA 01602
508-756-1990 (Office)
508-756-8277 (Fax)

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February 2007

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