HomeFr Kevin writes...

Dropping the jigsaw

Dear Friends,

I do hope that, whether or not you have been able to get away, you will have had the opportunity for rest over the Summer.

Rest, as I suggested in last monthís letter, is vital to our physical, mental and spiritual recovery, both individually and as a church, and something we need continually to build into our lives. Giving time to rest and space to enjoy and RENEW our personal relationship both with God in prayer and worship, and with each other is vital to our recovery from the trials of the past eighteen months.

As we move forward into the Autumn, life is likely to get busier, so, before it does, let us pause to ensure that we both give ourselves the necessary time and space for renewal and recovery, and also to REFRESH our vision and our sense of purpose.

Vision is important. For, after all, what we set our eyes on we tend to aim for and work towards. Doubtless there will be many debates over the next few months as to how we move forward as a church. However, all I wish to do here is offer a note of caution.

Some of you will have heard me liken our current situation to a familiar jigsaw where all the pieces have been thrown up into the air. Some pieces have landed in a jumble, others are still falling. As they do, we will notice that some pieces are missing, lost, gone for ever. We will also spot strange, unfamiliar pieces, new bits of the jigsaw which werenít there before. Our task is to put all these pieces together. But there is a problem. We have no picture on top of the box to guide us, only a vague memory of what we had before, which obviously wonít include what is new.

I believe this is an apt metaphor for our own situation. In short, the world has changed, the church has changed, and we have changed. As we pray and listen, our task is to discern what God is calling us to be and to do for him, both personally and together as a church, in the world as it is now, not as it was before. However, tempting, we must resist the temptation to turn the clock back, by simply falling back into familiar ruts and comfortable ways but instead seek Godís vision for ourselves and St Paulís in our world as it today.

This is a God-given opportunity. So, as we rest and renew please may we pray; and, as we pray, ask God for his vision, which is always to re-fresh us.

May God bless you as we seek him together,

Fr Kevin.