Remembering St. George
This week we celebrate the life of our parish here at Gate Pa. We are also given the opportunity to wonder what it means to be named after St. George. Our focus this Sunday will be on learning more about this well-loved and increasingly controversial saint. The question we will keep in mind as how does St. George influence how we exercise our ministry and mission.
If I was to ask most people what you know of George I am sure you will tell me something about a dragon, and that he is the patron saint of England. Some people may even think he was English.
Tradition tells us that George lived around 300; that he was born in Palestine and was of Greek descent; like his father he was a Tribune in the Emperor’s elite force; and like his parents he was a Christian. He is remembered for dying during the persecution of Christians under the Emperor Diocletian in about 303. We are told he died a slow death, in part for telling Diocletian that his command for all Christians to sacrifice to him was wrong. George refused to both sacrifice, and to execute those under his command who also refused the sacrifice.
I once read this Muslim saying which was said to be about George. It sums up his death, “The righteous way is to say what is just in the face of a tyrant”.
As we celebrate all that has gone on here at St. Georges over the last 125 years, and as we look to continue that legacy into the future, I wonder how these words help us understand who we are and our role in this place at this time?