Monthly letter from the Clergy
May 2017 - This months letter is from our Rector Rev. Jenny Gray
Balloons tied to a cross...what is going on? Balloons are signs of celebration... balloons are signs of God’s life/breath/Spirit in all people....so we’re adding balloons to the cross outside our village churches on the 9 days between Ascension Day (25th May) and Pentecost/Whitsun (4th June) to celebrate both festivals AND join the Archbishops’ international call to pray for the transforming of communities and nations (details on www.kingdomcome website), trusting that, with God, we can make a difference.
It’s easy to feel powerless when acts of terrorism happen near us in Westminster and daily across the world...appalling evil carried out supposedly in God’s name against innocent, defenceless individuals. It’s easy to shut out our neighbour’s suffering when there’s pain, darkness or uncertainty in our own lives. But each person has a real choice: do nothing OR get involved in work and prayer for the world we want to see. Changing our world really does begin with us, with our refusal to despair, retaliate or look the other way. Changing our world begins with our love, our generosity, our compassion...each small act of goodness chipping away at the world’s darkness and building God’s kingdom on earth as in heaven.
So, call me naïve, call me a dreamer, but I believe tomorrow can be different...that the world does not have to stay as it is or go from bad to worse*. I share God’s desire (in the 10 Commandments and in Jesus’ life and teaching) for a world where ‘parents are respected...there is no murder and marriage vows are kept so that broken homes and broken families are unknown. There is no stealing and no lying for the people respect each other...there is no coveting, for all have leaned the joy of contentment...a good land...a healthy culture. It is a land where there is no loneliness because the people love and have time for one another. The young love the old and the old enjoy the company of the young. The curse of drugs and drunkenness has vanished from the land and life is lived to the full, everyone enjoying the good things of God. Crime has disappeared. Children play on the streets and women walk unafraid in the dark. Newspapers find good news to cheer the readers. Television makes righteousness exciting...’ This is the kingdom Jesus invites us to work and pray for, where God’s good will is done on earth as in heaven, where all people have value, justice and peace.
Impossible?... Risky?... Foolish? ... God’s kingdom is a long way off but, in each act of kindness or charity it’s already here. Easter expresses that HOPE, that irrepressible new LIFE breaking through in unexpected ways and unlikely places. Evil ultimately defeated by LOVE. Faith invites us to be Easter people, to be hope, life and love in our family/work/ community/country/ world, whoever, wherever we are, whatever our situation, to be the change we want to see.
There is no quick fix, no short cut to building a better world. Just us...working with God one step at a time...with the trust, patience and courage He promises as we pray. Are we in?
‘God uses people who fail because there isn’t any other kind around.’
*see the poem Sometimes by Sheenagh Pugh