Minister's Message

               Minister’s Spring Message 2019

So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help.”                                                        James 1:4-5 The Message

As I write for this “Spring” edition, there’s little evidence of the arrival of Spring outside; we’re still waking up to cold & frosty mornings or a pale sun peeping through a wintry fog. But there are a few scatterings of snowdrops in the hedgerows and here and there clumps of daffodils are slowly beginning to emerge from the ground.  Sometimes it seems as if there are no signs of new life or growth, but we know they’re there and will soon become obvious as the earth warms and new growth emerges.

Sometimes things take time to develop and mature in our spiritual lives and in the life of our church, as James reminds us. We might feel impatient about the rate (or lack of) growth, or we might doubt whether we’re doing the right thing - even Paul experienced the frustration of doing things he didn’t want to, & not doing things he knew he should.

We may be tempted to assume that we’re not good enough or gifted enough to serve God.  But God knows each of us from the inside out; he knows what we’re capable of and what our true potential is, and Jesus promised us the gift of His Holy Spirit to help us to grow into the people God created us to be.

I read a wonderful story recently about a concert pianist from Poland called Jan Paderewski (who also became Prime Minister about a century ago). The story goes that a mother who wanted to inspire her 5 year old son to learn to play the piano bought 2 tickets to see Jan Paderewski in concert. They arrived early and while talking to the person next to her in the vast auditorium, she failed to notice her young son wander off. Only when the lights began to dim did she begin to panic as she realised he wasn’t beside her. By then the curtains had opened and she saw her young son sitting on stage at the Steinway Grand Piano, unaware of the audience, which had hushed.

         With one finger he began to play the only tune he knew – Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Before she could call out to him, the great master pianist himself appeared on stage and tiptoed over to crouch down behind the boy, whispering as he did so, “Don’t stop, keep playing”.

As he bent down he reached round the child with his right hand & began to play the most beautiful running obligato, and with his left he played smooth arpeggios, all the time whispering “Don’t stop, keep playing”. As he played, he augmented and developed the very simple tune the young boy was playing and when the boy finished, the audience rose to its feet with thunderous applause. The great master and the young apprentice had made some wonderful music together.

When we feel our faith is wavering, or wonder how we can ever do anything good for God; when our courage falters and we can’t see any signs of growth around or in us, God through his Holy Spirit says: “Don’t Stop – keep playing”.

We don’t have to play on our own, we play with God’s Spirit accompanying us & making something beautiful and worthwhile from our simple offerings of our money, our time, our skills, to help build his kingdom in our neighbourhood.

We’re currently looking at the possibility of running Youth Alpha later this summer, so please encourage any young people of high school age you know who might be interested to get in touch with Sarah or me  

As we journey through the season of Lent, reflecting on where we are in our personal relationship with God in Jesus, I hope and pray that this will be a time of new growth for you personally, and for us all as a church community seeking to follow Jesus, as we look forward to celebrating again the resurrection promise of new life that is God’s gift to us at Easter.

 

Blessings always

Jane       

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