From our Minister

From our Minister

As I write this, I have a view of my garden and the beautiful Autumn leaves, which are now falling and creating a thick bed of damp sogginess on the lawn. Autumn is an interesting season; a transition between the warm, light summer and the dark, cold winter. November follows the changing of the clocks, so the darkness comes even earlier.

November is also a month for remembering. Did you know, November 3rd is world jellyfish day? ‘Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder treason and plot……’ What about National Saxophone Day on November 6th! More significantly, and poignantly, is November 11th when as a nation we remember those who have died as a result of conflict.

Remembering is important for many reasons. In recent years this importance has been emphasised as many of us have experienced watching family members or friends become steadily more isolated by the ravages of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Kathryn and I have started the process of clearing out years of accumulated baggage from the attic and garage in readiness for retirement. Among the ‘huge’ amount of stuff hidden away in the attic are photographs from my time as a chaplain. Some are of the HQ companies of the regiments and battalions I served with and include up to 180 personnel on each. After my 3rd posting, I had to stop buying them; we hadn’t enough wall space for them and the children’s year group school photos. Looking at my and the children’s, photos brought back memories long buried; I’m pleased to say happy memories.

Memory is a gift from God. In my daily devotions when reading my bible, I’m struck by how often the writer, particularly in the Psalms, refers back to God’s
actions in his dealing with his people. Recounting the great events that formed the nation. In Daniel 9 we read the prophet’s prayer to God which begins by recounting the wonder of who God is and what he has done. It is a most wonderful example of prayer.

We need to remember who we are before God; chosen, loved and precious. Not because of what we have done, given or earned but because we are in Christ, God’ children. If we feel we have failed, join the club, if we feel we little to offer, join the club. So why does God love us? Because he does, and we don’t need to try and find a reason why. Praise God!

The shortest Psalm and also the shortest chapter in the bible: Psalm 117

Praise the Lord, all nations!
Extol him, all peoples!
For great is his steadfast love towards us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures for ever.
Praise the Lord!

John

PS. did you know, November 21st is ‘World Hello Day?’ we are encouraged to greet 10 people! (It’s also the beginning of the world cup).