From the Sanctuary
One of the lovely things about this time of year, is seeing the mists settled in the valleys, or hugging the river, early in the morning. They blanket the landscape at low level and temporarily transform the scenery into something very beautiful, until the sun burns it off. Of course, some days, the same mist becomes fog, which thickens and clouds our vision, so much so that it is difficult to see where we are going sometimes. All I can see is the countless, distracting ‘floaters’ in my eyes when I am driving through the fog; but eventually the fog clears and we resume some normality of vision and direction.
And so it is with life. We may feel, at times, like we are plodding through fog, not knowing where we are going, or when we will get ‘there’. Some folks have even spoken of ‘brain fog’ in relation to their side-effects of having had Covid-19. There are some days when I know exactly what they mean, as I struggle to focus or to think straight – when I have a headache and so much is coming at me that I don’t know where to start with my tasks.
Now may be a time when you feel like your life is in a fog, not knowing when these strange times will end, how you will cope, and not sure of the direction of travel. It is at times like this when faith is crucial. Faith is knowing and trusting that these things are temporary – the fog will pass. Life will not always be like this, and the sun will eventually shine and burn off the mist; but whilst in the fog, faith is in knowing that we are held secure by One who loves us, and that we can trust in our capacity to cope.
All my hope on God is founded; He doth still my trust renew. Me through change and chance he guideth, Only good and only true. God unknown, he alone Calls my heart to be his own. God’s great goodness aye endureth, Deep his wisdom, passing thought: Splendour, light and life attend him, Beauty springeth out of naught. Evermore, from his store New-born worlds rise and adore. Still from earth to God eternal Sacrifice of praise be done, High above all praises praising For the gift of Christ his Son. Christ doth call one and all: Ye who follow shall not fall.
Wishing you every blessing,
It comes as no surprises that we are now classed as Tier 3 in the Pandemic and needless to say, this means our church is closed again for worship. Our minister, Peter will be conducting services via Zoom for the next three Sundays and we would ask that you connect with our Provincial Service ‘Worship on the Web’ for the 4th and 5th Sunday of the month.
Our Tin and Toy Service will not be held this year but we are not neglecting Wood Street Mission entirely. If you would like to make a monetary gift, we will ensure that this is sent to Wood Street to help with their most worthy cause.
|Sunday 1st||Morning Worship via Zoom |
followed by the on-line vote for a new
Church Committee member.
|Monday 2nd||Church Committee via Zoom||6 p.m.|
|Wednesday 4th||M.W.A. Meeting via Zoom||1.15 p.m.|
8th and 15th
|Morning Worship via Zoom||11 a.m.|
22nd and 29th
|Worship on the Web – the link will be forwarded to you on the day|
We Will Remember – 80 years on
This year we’ve been remembering the Battle of Britain, described by Winston Churchill in August 1940 as ‘one of the decisive battles of the war… never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.’ It was a dramatic turning point in the history of the Second World War. The occasions for Remembrance this month will provide us times of gratitude for what was achieved in the darkest moments of war.
However, this year we are very aware of our own struggles with the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. We face an unseen enemy, but the effects on our lives and society are almost as devastating as world war.
Remembering is not just about focusing on past events. It is also about making present past events, as we give thanks for all that took place. The Battle of Britain was fought by the Few and won in the skies over the Channel. In our battle with the virus, we can call to mind the victory of Jesus: ‘Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David.’ (2 Timothy 2:8). Jesus secured the victory of death by His cross and resurrection, so that we don’t need to fear death, but trust in His loving purposes for our lives.
Currently we can’t see clearly what the future holds for us; it may be very different from what we might expect. However, we can pray for God’s will to be done and that we will play our part, just as each of those airmen did so many years ago.
‘They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.’
Lord, prop us up!
There is a story of an old farmer who always prayed the same prayer at his church meeting. ‘Lord, prop us up on our leanin’ side’. After hearing this many times, his minister asked him one day quite what he meant.
The famer replied: “Well, it’s like this… I’ve got an old barn out in one of my fields. It’s been there a long time, and gone through a lot of storms. One day a few years ago I noticed that it was leaning to one side a bit. So, I went and got some poles and propped it up on its leaning side, so it wouldn’t fall. Then I got to thinking about how much I was like that old barn. I’ve been around a long time, and seen plenty of storms in life. I was still standing, but I was also leaning a bit. So, I decided to ask the Lord to prop me up, too, on my leaning side.
Our ‘leaning side’ is where we are weakest in ourselves. Sometimes we get to leaning toward anger, bitterness, bleakness in life. Then we too need to pray for God to prop us up, especially on that leaning side. He wants us to stand tall and free, in Him.
The Promise of Advent
Stir up our hearts, we beseech you,
to prepare ourselves to receive your Son.
When He comes and knocks, may He find us not sleeping in sin,
But awake to righteousness,
Ceaselessly rejoicing in His love.
May our hearts and minds be so purified,
That we may be ready to receive His promise of eternal life.
from The Gelasian Sacramentary, c.500 (oldest official prayer book of the Western Church)