It is wonderful to be back to ministry and to seeing many of you, or just being in touch, more regularly again. I want to start this article by thanking everyone for all they've done this past year to keep worship, ministry and mission going at St. Guthlac's and in Market Deeping - Thank you.
I always find November a bit of an odd time really -The days get darker, but the nights also begin to get filled with the lights of fireworks and fairy lights; I celebrate my birthday, yet we spend much of the month remembering those who have passed away; And this year I am pleased to return to active ministry, though missing my baby while she's at nursery. It is a month of contradictions for me, and I am sure for others as well. So, when I am feeling like this, I like to take comfort in God, our constant as the seasons, themes and moods, change, as they do often in our lives and the world around us.
It makes me think of service and how we all have our roles to play in life -be they as a parent, a spouse, a minister, a volunteer, a teacher, a cleaner, in hospitality, in administration, in friendship, in prayer, etc, etc, etc. We are all called to serve God, to follow the way of Christ in our words and actions, basically to share the love of God in whatever way we can. We are all part of God's family, and we will all have different roles within that, which do change as the months and years go on. At times we can give, at other times we might need to receive. At times our roles change or adapt, grow or reduce. God calls us to new things, to change, while Godself remains unchanging. It can feel unsettling, yet if we embrace it, it can also offer wonderful new experiences and new relationships can develop. We can wait and watch life move on, or we can step (even if tentatively) on board and enjoy the journey and the developing destination. This is a choice we make, and sometimes we might even have to make it each day -to move forward, yes while recognising and remembering the past, but also while embracing and welcoming the future.
For some reason all this makes me think of the month of November - the past and the present colliding, and the changes and contradictions we live with. We remember those who have passed away with love, we think of the light shining in the darkness, and the importance of holding onto one's identity and role in Christ, even in the changing of the seasons and years. And of course, we walk through the inevitable changes of life, with God unchanging by our side.
With all best wishes and prayers,
Prayer for the back page:
God, our refuge and strength,
bring near the day when wars shall cease
and poverty and pain shall end,
that earth may know the peace of heaven
through Jesus Christ our Lord.