Minister's Message


Minister’s Message Autumn 2019

 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.                 Isaiah 43 v 19

 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.                      Lamentations 3:22-23

Jesus Christ never changes! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.                   Hebrews 13 v 8

Over the summer I was sharing with a group of people who were asked “What new thing have you done or are about to do, for the first time?” Several people had visited somewhere they hadn’t been before, or tried a different kind of holiday, two were about to become grandparents  and one person had just joined a local wild swimming club, having never tried anything like that before!

We often associate “new” things with new starts, or new purchases or new places, but actually the opportunity to do something new occurs every day. 

When our children became teenagers I remember reading some wise advice for parents on how to cope with the changing relationships with their children urging them not to expect too much from their children or from themselves – because we’re all learning something new:  “Remember: your child has never been a teenager before – and you’ve never parented a teenager before!” That advice stayed with me and we still joke with our eldest son (now 28) that we’re still learning because we’ve never parented a 28 year old before!

I think that applies to all areas of our life. When we do something for the first time we have to learn new ways of doing & being, whether we’re getting married, becoming a parent (or grandparent) for the first time, being bereaved, leaving home, starting a new school or job, or moving to a new house. But actually every day involves something new. Today is the first day you’ve ever been as old as you are now! And today really is the first day of the rest of your life! A book of daily readings & prayers includes the challenge: “Each new day is a clean new page – what shall we write that is worthy there?”

Like most of us I’ve done a few “new” things over the years, but this year on holiday I tried body boarding again.  And there’s a definite knack to catching the wave correctly - you have to learn to “read” the wave speed and height & try to catch the wave just as it begins to break for the best effect. I only managed to get it right it 3 or 4 times, but I certainly noticed the difference when I did!  When you catch the wave properly, you can feel yourself being physically lifted by the energy of the wave beneath you, carrying you forward much further than you’d get under your own steam, and it’s a wonderfully freeing and exhilarating sensation!

That experience of being lifted by the energy of the wave beneath me stayed with me and I’ve been reflecting on what we can achieve when we watch for the movement of God’s Holy Spirit and align ourselves with what He’s doing; when we listen for God’s wisdom, instead of relying on our own strength; when we allow ourselves to be lifted and carried by the love of God in Jesus; when we are open to discovering the new things he wants to do in and through us. It reminded me that the power of God’s Holy Spirit lifts us and carries us through every circumstance in our lives and enables us to do things we never imagined  possible. God invites us to “ride the wave” of his Holy Spirit and trust that it will carry us to where he wants us to be.

These Bible verses reminds us that God’s works in creation and transformation - doing a new thing - and that each new day provides an opportunity to for us to become the people He created us to be, individually and as his church in our community. St Paul reminds us that Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever. Each new day is an opportunity to discover again that God’s mercy and love are new every morning, and Jesus promises to be at work in every aspect of our lives and our hearts through his Holy Spirit, if we’re willing to invite him in.

This Autumn we’re looking forward to a unique opportunity to experience afresh the work of God’s Holy Spirit in our lives and in the life of our church when we gather for a Life In the Spirit Experience weekend from 18-20 October led by the Aldersgate Ministries team and we’re hoping that lots of our church family will come and join in!

And remember – Jesus loves to work with us through his Holy Spirit, whatever age we are! As I left the beach where I’d been body boarding, I noticed an elderly couple dressed in wetsuits carrying their body boards, slowly making their way down to the sea, ready to have a go!  Let’s immerse ourselves in God’s love and be refreshed by his Holy Spirit as we say “Come Lord Jesus, come!”