Thursday, 13 June 2013
Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York
On 18th May I attended a confirmation held in Ripon. The Archbishop of York gave out copies of his address afterwards, suggesting we could sell them on eBay.
'I've just been speaking at a high-security gaol,' he went on, amused that of the prisoners called him 'Archie.'
'You seem like a dynamic man, Archie, but aren't the leaders of the church boring geeks?'
'My prayer,' The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr John Sentamu told us, 'is that the people of this county can talk about Jesus the way they talk about the weather. Then something will happen.' He explained that in Uganda, where he comes from they only have climate. 'Whether we know Christ or have only grasped a fragment of him, the best is yet to come.'
He spoke to the ordinands saying, 'Love always involves a responsibility, and it always involves a sacrafice. We don't really love Christ unless we are prepared to face the task he gives and to take up his cross.'
We now hear that the Archbishop is facing treatment for prostate cancer. He must have known this when he took the service in Ripon, and yet he managed to fill the church with laughter.
As we left the service my husband thanked Dr Sentamu saying, 'Asanti sana,' (Many thanks in Swaheli). He was immediately clasped in a passionate embrace.
'Let each of us serve Christ where Christ has sent us,' the Archbishop told us. 'As the Risen Christ said to Peter: 'Never mind the task that is given to someone else. John is none of your business. Your job is to follow me and to be faithful to your calling.'
'That is what Jesus Christ still says to each one of us. Our glory is never in comparison with others; our glory is the service of Christ in whatever capacity he has allotted to us. But all of us are called to worship him and to witness to what he has done, and is doing in our lives as we dwell in him.'