Church of England Diocese of Canterbury Denton and Wootton

A Letter from Rev'd Jane

20 Nov 2020, 12:15 a.m.

Another Lockdown! Perhaps not quite the same as before, but a Lockdown! The churches remain open for private prayer and what prayer was experienced in Elham church last Saturday for Eliot; “a darling’ as his Mum, Kim called him. So many people came to pray, light candles, to grieve and support this family who have lost their young son. What a community showing so much Love.

Where there is Love, there is God for God is Love and those who Love live in God and God lives in them.

God is in the midst of it all! God is in the pain, the shock, the devastation, the darkness, the blaming and the unknowing. Nothing can prepare us for this.

May we continue to uphold the Gower Family in that Love now and in the hours, days and years to come.

Without doubt this year has been difficult for many, obviously nothing compared with this family, but as we move into winter where are your thoughts? Do you feel, you have brighter days ahead? Or do you feel weighed down by the challenges, you are facing?

Ezekiel had a vision:

‘On the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds or trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.’

This vision in Ezekiel chapter 47 marks change, a change of focus. The people had been in exile for 25 years and few remember how it used to be? They are at their lowest point, holding onto only negative thoughts about their future.

This vision is not wishful thinking; ‘To look on the brighter side of life;’ that old adage coming from Monty Python. But a reminder to the people that what they need, they cannot create for themselves. They need a renewed vision of who God is and to accept that they have overlooked the grace that was theirs for the asking. The image of this ‘ living water” John revisits in his Gospel; the abundant outpouring of grace into the most neglected and hopeless places bringing life and healing to all.

As the water flows see where they make their way into you, into your heart and into your experiences.

‘Everything will live where the river goes.’

Will you allow yourself to go to this river and invite the grace of God to go where it is needed? And, allow yourself to experience that Love that knows no bounds and brings about such gentle healing.

A Step Along the Way (The Romero Prayer)

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.

The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.

Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.

No prayer fully expresses our faith.

No confession brings perfection.

No pastoral visit brings wholeness.

No programme accomplishes the Church’s mission.

No set goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.

We plant the seeds that one day will grow.

We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.

We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.

This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.

It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, and opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We are workers, not master builders: ministers, not messiahs.

We are prophets of a future not our own.