In the gospels, Jesus never distances himself from people. He talks, prays, eats and parties with them, touching and healing all sorts of people, especially those who are marginalized, including by religious leaders. In doing so, he changes their lives. And when he leaves, he says ‘I am with you always’.
But how can we encounter the life-giving presence of Jesus today? Especially in a time of such loss and uncertainty, where can we find the hope and flourishing that he promises?
Bishop Rachel says that encounter and relationship are at the heart of faith and of life. At a time when ‘social distancing’ is our daily reality, she calls us to celebrate community, intimacy and the discovery of ourselves and each other through close encounter with God and our neighbor – the adventure of faith that Jesus calls us to – and to find hope even in times of darkness.
Rachel Treweek is the Bishop of Gloucester, was the first woman to become a Diocesan Bishop in the Church of England, and was previously a paediatric speech and language therapist. She is the author of Encounters: Jesus, connection and story, past present and future (DLT 2020).
Paula Gooder is the Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral and a leading Biblical scholar. Her latest book is The Parables (Canterbury Press, 2020), in her Biblical Explorations series.
The event is free, but if you are able to make a donation to the continuing learning programme at St Paul’s Cathedral when you register for the event we would be very grateful.