August 2012 Letter

Future proof?

 

As Chris explains in his article this month, burying the Jubilee time-capsule at Farringdon has made us all reflect on what life might be like in these villages in 100 years’ time.  It got me thinking about what the Bible says about facing the future.  Compared to the time period covered by the Old and New Testaments – or to the two millennia since the birth of Jesus – the hundred years until our time capsule is dug up is a very short time indeed. 

 

Much, perhaps most, of the Bible was written in times and places far more troubled and uncertain than ours.  The words of comfort and encouragement that inspired two favourite hymns – ‘ New every morning is the love,’ and ‘Great is thy faithfulness’ come from a verse in a book called ‘Lamentations’, written by the prophet Jeremiah in mourning after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in the 6th century BC.  To those who were taken away into exile, the prophet also passes on in his other writings some surprising but very practical advice from God – he tells them to settle down in the places to which they are taken; to work and pray for the peace and welfare of the communities in which they find themselves, for in that they would find their own peace.

 

Wherever we find ourselves; or may find ourselves in the future, that advice will surely still hold true – not just of our geographical communities but also those communities that no-one chooses willingly to join; the land of cancer sufferers and those who love them; the village of those who have lost their jobs, the tragic valleys of bereavement and loss. 

 

And in the New Testament, the words of Jesus are just as practical and just as challenging:  ‘Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today.‘ 

 

A hundred years or a thousand; it will still happen a day at a time, and we or our children or grandchildren will still be called to live each one of those days, working and praying for our communities in good times and bad and trusting in God’s love and faithfulness to lead us through.

 

So I will finish with some words from St Paul’s letter to the Christians living in Philippi , twenty or thirty years after Jesus’s death.

 

‘ Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’

 

Rev’d Karen Spray                 church@revdkaren.org.uk                  01392 877400


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