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The Starfish and Mary Magdalene


This week, our journey starts not in a church, but on a beach, where a young boy is tirelessly throwing washed-up starfish back into the ocean. An intrigued elderly man approaches and asks if the boy's efforts, dwarfed by the sheer number of stranded starfish, could make any real difference. With a smile, the boy tosses another starfish back into the water, turns to the man, and says, "It made a difference to that one!" This simple act, this 'starfish moment', echoes the impact of a figure from biblical history, Mary Magdalene, whose influence was felt far beyond what she might have ever imagined.

Fresh from a rejuvenating break, Rev. Neil returns, bringing tales from his holiday in the delightful coastal village of Portpatrick, or as he jokily dubbed it, 'Puerto Patricko'. And guess what? He, too, experienced a 'starfish moment' that left him, Jill, and Ellie brimming with wonder and awe.

Their adventure led them to the fish pond at Logan Bay, a unique and vibrant rock pool brimming with marine life. Among the diverse aquatic creatures, the star of the show was a humble starfish. It sparked fascination, not just because they're beautiful, but due to their intriguing characteristics. For instance, did you know there are over 2000 different species of starfish, some having up to 400 arms? Starfish have been around for an incredible 450 million years, and while they possess a nervous system, they do not have a brain.

You may now wonder, what does a starfish have to do with Mary Magdalene? The connection may not be immediately clear, but bear with us as we dive into the depths of this thought.

Mary Magdalene holds a special place in Christian faith. She was a constant, a pillar of support throughout Jesus' ministry, remaining at His side even during the crucifixion. Most significantly, she was the first witness to Jesus' resurrection. Her words "I have seen the Lord" marked the beginning of the spreading of the incredible news of His rising.

Now, let's consider the starfish again, in all its diversity, flexibility, and tenacity. Much like the starfish, Mary Magdalene was multifaceted. She was a disciple, a supporter, a witness. Despite being misunderstood and misrepresented, she continued to play a crucial role in the narrative of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.

Both the starfish and Mary Magdalene teach us the value of resilience, adaptability, and the power of making a difference, however small. As we throw our 'starfish' back into the ocean or stay by a friend's side in their time of need, we are impacting the world in ways we may not even realise.

Mary Magdalene's story emphasises the importance of recognising and honouring the contributions of women in religious narratives and in our lives. It underscores that, despite misconceptions and prejudices, we all have the power to make a difference, to transform small acts of kindness into mighty waves of change.

So, let's learn from Mary's book, or rather, pick up our starfish, and let's make a difference. Let's create a wave of change with our acts of kindness, no matter how small they seem. Because every 'starfish moment' counts.

Stay blessed and keep doing good.

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