February 2022 letter
After all our lives have been disrupted over the last two years, some of us most severely, it feels like time for us to catch up. Things are heading towards a little more normality. So there are opportunities to catch up.
At Christmas Jean and I were able to see our son, daughter-in-law, daughter and my brother and his family from Australia, all together, for the first time in a long time. We did a lot of catching up.
This month, St Luke’s is hosting the Knitted Bible Experience, for primary schoolchildren and all visitors. It seems so long since we were able to host school classes in church. And so rarely we have had the church doors open for allcomers. We’re catching up with what has been unable to happen for a long while.
At the recent PCC (Church Council), our church treasurer William told us that, after last year’s large deficit, this year we have a modest end-of-year surplus. It is very important to our solvency, and the vitality of God’s work in this village, that our church giving is catching up.
Students may be able to catch up with their studies. Some may be able to catch up with family and friends. But other things don’t quite work like that.
Spiritual growth cannot just be switched on and off, stopped and then resumed. Feeding on God’s Word in the Bible enables us to fill our larder with good things stored away. Hearing weekly sermons, doing weekly studies, enjoying weekly fellowship in church, attending thankful services week by week: it’s all helpful and necessary for God’s people to live and breathe. But deep spiritual growth is seasonal in a way which is beyond our control.
The wind blows where it wills. So with the Holy Spirit. Like sailing boats in a latitude with unpredictable wind potential, we do well to be ready in the right place for times of progress, to make the most it when its blowing, and to not take it for granted.
There is the added danger of perhaps not being aware of our spiritual decline. Like a frog in a saucepan might not realise until it’s too late when the pan is gradually brought to the boil, so we may not realise our spiritual growth has become a decline. Or we may realise it, but have lost our spiritual motivation to do anything about it.
This Lent may be a good time to take steps to get back on track. To make the habits which accompany spiritual growth our crucial priority, so that we might at least be ready for a season of spiritual growth. And to seek the Lord, and to cry out to the Lord for His Spirit to move amongst us.
Yours in Christ,