From the vicar, Richard Hare
A couple of my friends were driving to Newcastle the other day. Over two hours into their journey it dawned on them that they were heading south rather than north. They pulled over and checked the SatNav app on their phone. Sure enough, they’d typed in Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire rather than Newcastle-upon-Tyne! It made for a very long day indeed…
Unexpected destinations aren’t always bad things, though. In the Bible, in Mark Chapter 6, the disciples set off in a boat for Bethsaida, just after Jesus had fed the five thousand with a few loaves and fish. The wind was against them and it was hard going. Suddenly they saw Jesus walking near them on the lake. Thinking he was a ghost they cried out in terror. But he told them not to be afraid and joined them in the boat, whereupon the wind died down. And they landed at Gennesaret, about ten miles from their original target.
Many of us are feeling rather storm-tossed at the moment, feeling that the wind is against us. But with Jesus in the boat we can know we are secure, even if he takes us to a different destination from the one to which we thought we were heading.
I think this poem by Frances J Roberts makes the same point beautifully:
Many a ship has sailed from port to port
with no interference from Me,
because Strong Will has been at the wheel.
Multitudes of pleasure cruises
go merrily on their ways,
untouched by the power of My hand.
But you have put your life into My keeping,
and because you are
depending on Me for guidance and direction,
I shall give it.
Move on steadily,
and know that the waters that carry you
are the waters of My love and My kindness,
and I will keep you on the right course.
We continue to worship in church on Sundays, socially distanced yet together in Christ:
Sun 7<sup>th</sup> March at 9.30 am – Holy Communion
Sun 21<sup>st</sup> March at 9.30 am – Holy Communion
Sun 28<sup>th</sup> March at 4.00 pm – Family Service
And there is still online worship from our sister church at Emmanuel Bridlington every Sunday, live on Facebook at 11.00 am, or later in the day on our YouTube channel, and on the phone (01262 412525) at any time.