Keep on with the journey!

 

 

It got a bit icy under foot a few weeks ago. Some of you reading here in the NLs might have even had a skate. I only got as far as having a walk on frozen water!!

Keep on with the journey – whatever the conditions!

Helen and I often remind ourselves of a phrase:

“Look at the climate not just the weather!”

Okay, you will have to go with this for moment, I am an ex-Geography teacher so cut me some slack.

The weather changes every day and we have learnt since moving here in 2006, often it can change several times in one day!

Circumstances can seem like that – ever changing like the weather can be. The problem is when we only focus on the circumstances then we can miss the bigger picture (think climate).

This is going to be the last blog I write on the church website until August, since Helen and I are taking a sabbatical time.

What lies ahead for any of us in the next four months or so? What about in our communities or what we see in the wider world through the news? There are all kinds of tensions right now making the headlines.

Where will we focus – the weather or the climate?

Keep on with the journey!

In Hebrews 11:1 we can read, “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”. The Greek word used for faith, means “to be persuaded”. It is also the root word in the New Testament from which we can get the words ‘belief’ and ‘trust’.

What do we have faith in? What or who is our main persuader?

The weather or the climate? That is our circumstances or the faithfulness and promises of the Lord?

Sometimes it can seem crazy to trust God can’t it? In Hebrews 11:11-12 we can read of Abraham and Sarah being told they would have a child in old age. Surely not? In fact if you read the Genesis story, you can see their initial attempts as a couple to sort it out themselves. But that does not go so well. Yet God’s promise comes again and so finally Abraham got the picture: “he considered him faithful who had made the promise” (Hebrews 11:11) Isaac was born.

Followers of Jesus are called like the apostle Paul to “live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). So what might a life of faith look like in coming months

  • in our families?
  • among our neighbourhoods?
  • in our work/study places?
  • among our friends?
  • in the way we give of our time, skills and finances?
  • in how we get involved in issues of justice and standing up for others?
  • in our prayers?
  • in the way we respond to world events?
  • among our church community (whether that be ICL or if you are reading this as part of another congregation)

May we all be freshly inspired as we pray, ponder and think on such things.

Perhaps if you have felt knocked off course by circumstances it could help to be real with some others about it? May be also it is good to build in some rest – sometimes situations can seem even more overwhelming when we don’t allow ourselves to step back at all.

Keep on with the journey!

Christ is trustworthy – the “same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He does not change like the weather. Christ has shown fully what God is like – the One who “does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). With His help, let’s be trusting Him in the months ahead.

Thanks to ICL as a church community in giving us this sabbatical time. We really appreciate it. We’ll miss worshipping with you all each week but look forward to being back with you in August. Meanwhile, if you live in the area and you see us out and about, please do say hello.

Grace and truth!

Andy

PS I realise that the weather and climate analogy does not completely hold up since climate changes over time too. But Christ does not change – short term or long term!!