This has been a difficult summer for Bramford Road. Normally when I write for the September Newsletter, I am writing at the beginning of a new Church year and my message is a word of hope and encouragement as we set out on the next stage of our journey together. Despite the sadness of loss that so many people in the Church are feeling at the moment, I think that we can still set out in a positive way.
I hope that, despite all that has been going on, you have had a restful summer and maybe an opportunity to go away, visit new places and doing things that you don’t get the chance to do in the regular run of things. It is important to remember that there were times when Jesus took himself away, to rest and to re focus.
I always find that when I’m away on holiday, I can see things with greater clarity, I can gain a new perspective and have had some of my best ideas while walking on moors or along the coast. People often say to me “and don’t think about work while you’re away” and of course they are right, but in some ways they are wrong, because it is only when we stand back that we see the full picture in all its glory.
I love the story of the transfiguration of Jesus, where he takes Peter, James and John to the mountain top and they experience the wonder of the moment. For me the significant part of the story is coming back down off the mountain, Samuel Greg (1804-76) puts it this way in his wonderful hymn Stay, master, stay upon this heavenly hill
“No saith the Lord, the hour is past, we go;
Our home, our life, our duties lie below.
While here we kneel upon the mount of prayer,
The plough lies waiting in the furrow there”
The hymn reminds us that real life is played out back in the work place and good as holidays are, this is where we make a difference in the world.
We set out on the next stage of our journey without some people we love and that will be very hard for some of us and we need to remember that. Even so, as with every new year we stand on the threshold of new beginnings, new opportunities and new adventures. This is the time and place where all our dream and visions are worked out and where the work begins.