From The Rectory

Dear Friends,

As you may have noticed, over the last few months my letters have been inspired by the prayer stations we hosted through the summer months in St Mary’s Lynton. As we move into September, the back-to-school time, it is quite appropriate that the next of the themes is “Doing”.

There is no doubt that we live in a “busy” world: we encourage our children to work hard at school to give them the best start in life, many adults are juggling jobs to make ends meet, those who are retired often help care for grandchildren. Often those who are less able to be active can find not being able to “do so much” frustrating. In fact all this busy-ness can leave all of us feeling that we are unable to do enough; more aware of what we haven’t done than all of the things we have achieved. There is nothing more demoralising than the feeling of falling short – not being able to achieve what we want to, not having enough resources, time or energy to “do” well enough. This is especially true when we can see things around us in our families, the church, our community or our wider world that we would really like to be able to change for the good.

The story that the “Doing” prayer station gave us reminds us to look at what we want to achieve, what we can do, in a different way: Jesus’ disciples, Peter and John, meet a lame man begging at the Temple gate who ask them for a gift of money. Peter goes to him and says “I have no riches, no silver and gold; but what I do have I will give you: in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, get up and walk”. He helped the man to his feet, who finding new strength in his legs danced and leapt with joy, praising God.

It seems to me that Peter’s action shows us two lessons.

First, he is not distracted or put off by what he can’t do or doesn’t have, but he focuses on what he does have (in his case his faith in Jesus) and courageously works with what he already has to make a difference.Second, he is open to a power that is greater than his own effort – the power we call the Holy Spirit - working through him. I think these two insights: focusing on what we are able to do and being open to the power of the Spirit (however we might understand it) help us to start “doing” things well that make a difference without being overwhelmed and set back by busy-ness.

So like Peter may we learn to take joy in even the small things we can do well, and may all we do to make a difference in our world be blessed by the Holy Spirit.

God bless, Samantha



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