Rector's September 2015 Letter

What makes us special?

September again – and at this time of year, new beginnings are all around us, particularly in education.  With four primary schools in our villages, three of them Church schools, I will be meeting lots of new starters and knowing that over the next few years, we will all have the delight of seeing them grow and flourish, finding their strengths and working with their weaknesses and being helped to make the most of the gifts they have been given.

 

At the same time, I know that some of those I have got to know over the last 6 years will be starting the same process all over again at a different level, as they settle into secondary schools, colleges, universities, apprenticeships and other new opportunities. 

 

We never stop learning and developing, and it is as much true of adults as it is of children.  Sometimes we find ourselves moving out in new directions that we could never have predicted a few years ago, and at other times we start to feel the niggling feeling that there is an important part of us that has somehow got a bit lost – perhaps a skill or talent that has not been exercised for a while, or a favourite pastime that has been pushed onto the back-burner through work or family pressures.

 

These ebbs and flows in our lives are inevitable, but that niggle is not something to be ignored.  It may be our deeper selves alerting us to new opportunities – perhaps that ambition that was impossible to achieve when children were smaller could actually be a little nearer once they are out at school, or otherwise less dependent on us.  Or perhaps it is telling us that we have been ready to accept restrictions that could be made less onerous with thought and planning and a readiness to accept help from others.

 

One of the Bible verses I come back to again and again is John 10:10, where Jesus is talking about himself as the ‘good shepherd’.  He says, ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.’  This has always seemed to me a touchstone by which we can judge religions and philosophies – including our own.  Not that we expect everything in life to be joy and delight, nor that ‘abundant life’ will mean the same to different people.  But when we look back in history, or round our world today, it is easy to see places and times where God’s name has been, and is, misused to limit human flourishing and trap people in boxes constructed of human prejudice. 

 

I and my contemporaries have been privileged to grow up in a little sliver of space and time where women and men have had a real chance to discover in relative peace the gifts God has given us and put them to work in our lives.  It’s not something we should ever take for granted, nor is the process anywhere near complete.  But wherever we are, whatever or circumstances, Jesus’s promise stands; and those who take him up on it will find possibilities opening up where they might previously have seen only chains.

 

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

 


Rector's Pages
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Webpage icon Rector's 2nd March 2015 Letter
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Webpage icon Rector's December 2014 Letter
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