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Thought for the Month  -  April


God’s Springtime …

  It’s felt like a long, cold winter and Spring has seemed a long time coming! As the days lengthen and (hopefully) grow warmer, there are more and more signs of new life appearing all around – snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils coming out in turn, lambs gambolling in the fields and leaves beginning to unfurl on the trees. This is the beauty of God’s creation in the physical world, bringing hope and joy - but what about our spiritual lives?

  Sometimes I have felt as if I’m travelling through a “spiritual wintertime” – when the joy of the Lord in me has been buried by worries, like flowers under the snow, when I’m feeling overwhelmed, prayer has been difficult and God has seemed distant. Many of us can experience ‘spiritually wintery conditions’ if our joy is outweighed by anxieties- whether it’s fear of the future, worries about health, or loved ones, or chapel closures, or lack of ministers, or concerns about the wider world.

  If you are travelling through this wintery terrain, take comfort that it is only for a season: joy WILL come again, as ‘God’s Springtime’ (to use Joyce Huggett’s phrase) breaks into our lives. And we never travel alone – God is with us every step of the way, and knows us through and through. In spite of this intimate knowledge, God still loves each of us totally and unconditionally!

  At a retreat back in 2009, we were invited by the Revd. Stephen Poxon (the then President of Conference), to ‘look out for the angels’ along the way as we prepared for ordination. He meant that we should be aware and open to all the things, people and situations that each of us encounter that encourage us – bring us joy, surprise us with beauty, fill us with hope. Once we open our eyes to look out for these ‘angelic encounters’, it’s amazing how many we notice!

  What has brought you joy recently? Many of you will know that Samantha, our daughter, gave birth to our first grandchild in January, Hugo Anthony (named after Grandad Tony!). He has already brought so much joy to all the family. Whilst looking at a photo of Hugo, my wise Spiritual Director, Sister Philippa from Stanbrook Abbey, pointed out a profound truth about God’s deep, unconditional love that many of us already know (but it never hurts to be reminded)! She said, “You love Hugo so much, and he hasn’t done anything to deserve or to earn that love. That’s how God loves us!”. It’s true – believe it! What a source of joy and peace this knowledge brings!

  God’s unconditional love is for everyone, everywhere – may we communicate this love, living it out in our lives beyond the walls of our chapels, spilling it into our communities and spreading the joy and renewal of life that comes from the knowledge that we are all beloved children of God.

Joy, peace and love

Deacon Fiona


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