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‘Be sharp and true’ Bishop John tells Chrism service

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Bishop John used this afternoon’s Chrism Eucharist service to call on those who bear the message of salvation to be sharp and polished, and used a dartboard to target his message.

The readings were from the book of Isaiah, the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians, John 10 and Psalm 126.

“In the summer of last year I was doing my trip around the church schools of the diocese and the time came for me to visit Priory school in Brecon where, as usual, I was received with a warm welcome and a warm cup of coffee in the headmaster’s office,” Bishop John said.

“What would you normally expect to find in a headmaster’s office? Something very unusual struck me pretty much as I walked in, and that was a dartboard. I asked what that was doing there and he said, like me and possibly you, he spends a lot of time sitting at his desk. Spending long periods sat at a desk can lead to deep vein thrombosis and all sorts of things that render you incapable, and so he had decided what he needed to do was to follow the advice in an article he had read in a newspaper.

“In this article someone had suggested buying a dartboard and, after sitting at your desk for a while, getting up and play darts for five minutes.

“I went back to my office and asked my PA how quickly we could get a dartboard. It’s now on the wall of my office, and it’s wonderful.

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“Now, where’s all this going? To the book of the prophet of Isaiah, those of us called, as the Collect puts it, to bear witness to the gospel of salvation. The Lord says to Isaiah ‘I have made your mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow in his quiver and he hid me away’.

“God has made us to be his people, to deliver his salvation. And god wants us to be sharp and well directed so that we may identify our target and go to our target that others may come to hear of that same salvation.

“Just as with darts, the shaft of the dart has to be true, the flight of the dart has to be properly fixed, and the point has to be sharp. You see the point.

“For us who bear that message of salvation we need to be sharp, we need to be polished in the way we plan for the delivery of that salvation God has shown us through the Lord Jesus.”

You can listen to Bishop John’s sermon here.

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You can see more photographs from the service on our Facebook page here.