Vicar's Letter - September 2017

     Vicar’s Letter September 2017 – Courage, Confidence and Perseverance

It seems to me that above all else following a faith gives you a direction in life and a path to follow. It is a path that has been tried and tested by many before us. It is a way of life that resonates with those who have lived it out down through the centuries. Underpinning this life are values and virtues that give us the guidance that we need. The Christian faith has very few rules and regulations, as these were exactly what Jesus came to do away with, for so often they can be used to trap us in unhealthy patterns of behaviour. Instead it has great commands that are based upon love. They demand that we work out in our own situation just how we must live before God and in relation to those around us.
When life is easy and all is well with the world we might feel that we can make our own way in our own strength. But all of us will have times when we are challenged by events that happen around us or by internal pressures that are forced upon us. It is at times like this that having faith in something bigger, broader and better than ourselves can help us through. It is not that people of faith have a monopoly on these virtues but more that we are made aware of how to relate them to the struggles that we face. Again and again I see those who are pushed to the very limit by trying times respond with grace and peace because they have a firm faith to hold onto.
There are many unsettling things that we have to face as a nation at present. On top of the uncertainty of how we will pull out of Europe there has been an upsurge of terror attacks that has left us all feeling less secure. We are travelling through very odd days indeed with a weakened government that often seems out of step with the mood of many. Alongside this is a media who love to flood us with stories of calamity or chaos as it does its best to exaggerate the problems in order to keep our attention.
At a recent meeting the speaker encouraged us to face these days with courage, confidence and perseverance. Sports coaches will usually give their players just a few key instructions before a big game; too much information prevents them from playing with freedom. Focusing on just these three virtues might be good advice for us all as we make our way through these next months.
For:
we need courage to hold onto the things that are dear to us
we need confidence to face the challenges that lie head
we need perseverance to make sure that we stay on the right path.

With these three virtues we might just find that we are braver than we believe, stronger than we seem, and smarter than we think.

May we all look forward to brighter days ahead.                         Neil


Vicar's Letter
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