His Beatitude Sir Godfrey Gregg DD

To my Lord Patriarch and Bishop of Starlight of Israel Sir Darrindel Hoyte-Johnson, Matriarch-Elect Hon. Janet McClean, Crowned Queen Abbess Dr. Jacinta Albert-Patrick, His Eminence Sir Eric Alleyne, Patriarch McGillvary and the Queen Abbess of London, England, Clergy, brothers, sisters, friends and well-wishers greetings.

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—A time to give birth, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and time o build up. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing. A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; a time to keep, and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; a time to be silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1–8)

We are entering a time to mourn, a time to weep, a time to search, and it seems a time to tear apart. One text that captures such a time as this is Joel 2:15–17:

Blow a trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly, gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and the nursing infants. Let the bridegroom come out of his room and the bride out of her bridal chamber. Let the priests, the Lord’s ministers, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, “Spare thy people, O Lord, and do not make thine inheritance a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they among the peoples say, ‘Where is their God?'”

[At this point in the sermon, the Bishop took a moment to address the children. He told them this little poem in order to help them process what was taking place:

When things don’t go the way they should God always makes it turn for good.

He then gave five stories about how God made good things come from what seemed to be bad circumstances:

  1. A splinter in your finger has to be removed, but it hurts to have it taken out. Sometimes things that hurt actually help us to get better.

  2. The story of Joseph in Genesis: “You meant it for evil but God meant it for good.”

  3. John Bunyan’s imprisonment and John Owen’s “failure” to get him released actually led to the writing of A Pilgrim’s Progress.

  4. A recent personal experience from Bishop’s life.

  5. The cross of Christ: betrayal, denial, and sin actually led to our salvation.]

Public Reproof for Public Ministers

I would simply like to develop a principle concerning public ministry and the sins of public ministers.

But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews? (Galatians 2:11– 14)

“All” here means the “Gentiles” verse 12 and the “party of the circumcision” verse 12 and “the rest of the Jews” verse 13. Peter was a very public figure and his behavior was having public ramifications. It was hurting the community. Therefore Paul’s reproof was similarly public. “In the presence of all” v.erse14. Sometimes we simple need to be told in public how we must behave and that way we get our lives straight.



Author: Godfrey Gregg