Reading Chronicle, Page 2, 'Bank Holiday carnival'
Our town has a large Afro-Caribbean community and for 32 years they have staged the Reading Community Carnival. As a community they are unashamed of their ethnic roots and cultural identity. They’re vibrant, joyful, authentic, consistent and on the streets … and we can either join in the party or wait until it passes!
What we love about the Afro-Caribbean's is that their community is out on the street giving it large for their cultural identity and we all love them for it. The church also is to be a called out community of people, a royal priesthood who belong to a heavenly kingdom (1Peter 2v9-12).
How much more so should we be amongst the people of Reading displaying our true identity … that of ‘being found in Jesus’. As a church we need to be happy to make some noise, add some colour, to bring joy and be a blessing, and be AMONGST the people of Reading. Sadly most of the town don’t know we exist, we need to change this!!!
“The world is going through a depressing time but in Reading we’ve got the opportunity for one day of merriment and fun” Tony Vickers.
Without a doubt the world is going through a depressing time (global recession, HIV/AIDS pandemic, terrorism). The Reading Chronicle also had some depressing stories (3 men arrested on suspicion of indecent images of children). However, for one day the carnival offers merriment and fun, against a backdrop of global & local gloom.
But when the steel drums are finally packed away and the last joyous photos downloaded onto hard drives, Tuesday morning will come crashing in. And so we need to be a people who are still displaying good deeds, that glorify God, as we live good lives amongst the people of Reading.
The Christian life is often misunderstood so we shouldn’t be surprised by any hostile reception or when accused of doing wrong. This shouldn’t deflect us; rather we are to consider it an honour to be treated like Jesus was. His message is one of enduring hope and we must proclaim it to the people of Reading. His message is to be demonstrated by a church that in seen and known and part of the fabric of life here.
The Reading Chronicle carries news to the people of Reading every week for only 60p, and it’s a good read. But news quickly dates and so the news desk at the Chronicle is constantly looking for new stories. We have our story and it is the old, old story of the rugged cross. We must be a community of people who clearly proclaim the good news of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection to the people of our town.