As we go into the Autumn, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you for all you have been doing and continue to do for each other in our communities of Bishop’s Waltham and Upham. Over the last few months being such good neighbours in practical love and care has meant so much to all and especially those who have most needed it.
But what next? My hope is that we will generally continue to be good neighbours so we can go on being a community of welcome, care and love. However, more specifically, as we are all aware, the way ahead is not yet clear on many fronts where answers will take time to emerge.
Here at St Peter’s and Blessed Mary we are wanting to step towards both ‘going back’ to some previous good things, but also ‘going onto’ to some new good things. Over the Autumn, we are aiming at using this time as best we can to ‘explore’ who and what God is calling us to be as a Christian community in light of what we have been learning in this time: in our prayer life; in our group life; in our congregational life; and in our community life where we live, work and rest. If you would like to join in it would be lovely to see you and details are later in the magazine.
So, what are we going to be exploring?
Covid, it has been one of those once in a lifetime events that has given us an opportunity to take time, to pause, to stop and to take stock, and, through this time, God is I am sure, wanting to communicate a new vision for life in general, and also for our Christian community of St Peter’s and Blessed Mary. One of the key things is that God wants us to explore and find a much better ‘Rhythm of Life’. I am sure you will have been doing your own reflecting and deciding what might be different for you and your family in the future in this way. None of us have clear answers yet, but if you have not read them yet, you might find my recent reflections, in my Parish News/Rectors Blogs, helpful: Church of the Past and the Future; Responding Reflecting Reconstructing; From BC to AC; A Time to Reflect: What would be good to not go back to normal?
If these reflections convey something of what we should learning about a new rhythm of life, there is before us an exciting opportunity for change rather than just wanting to overcome the challenges of Covid. In this sense, I think it would be good if Covid could be seen by all of us as a good opportunity for change and not the cause of change…..changes that in our heart we know we need to make anyway.
But how do we find a new rhythm of life?
For Christians, finding a good ‘Rhythm of Life’ can only be found when we become followers of the way of life of Jesus. We find it when we hear and answer his call to ‘Come follow me’. If this is something you are looking for, the promises of Jesus are where you will find a the best and real foundation for the coming months and future:
“Come follow me.”
“I am the way the truth and the life.”
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
““I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
With my prayers for October, that by following the way of life of Jesus, you can discover the best rhythm of life.
Revd James – Rector St Peter’s Bishop’s Waltham and Blessed Mary, Upham
10th September 2020