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Pastoral Message for February
from Steve Judd - one of our Church Elders

Dear Friends 

In the 1970’s the BBC produced a short film called “A Prospect of England”.  On the face of it, the film is a collection of video clips of England scenes with fine music and poetry to go with it.  But some of the poetry goes deeper, and as the film runs through the seasons, from Spring round to Winter, so some of the poems explore the circle of life and the joys, sorrows, growth, decay and finally death which goes with it.

But after the solemn music and the sombre poem which goes with the winter funeral scene, the music turns to joy and the pictures to the rich growth of another Spring, accompanied by a poem rejoicing in that time of year and remembering how, even though the trees seem to die each winter, they come to life again with the following spring.

I find this moving at any time, but especially so at this time of year, during the darkest days of Winter.  And recent times have been dark in so many ways; conflict and mass suffering on the world stage, the continuing cost of living crisis and the hardship this has brought to so many people in this country.  How we need a vision of better times to come again!

But from now on we shall see the days lengthen rapidly, and although there is still plenty more Winter weather to come, soon we shall feel a real warmth in the sunshine and be able to enjoy the Spring flowers coming up.

And our faith and the Bible remind us of the victory of light over darkness as well.  John 1:5 reminds us that “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out” [GNB] and, after going through the solemn time of Lent and the agony of Good Friday, we will rejoice again with the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Day and his victory of life over death.

We need to cling on to our faith that, however dark things may seem, God is in control and his purpose will ultimately triumph.  Our faith is not blind faith or reckless hope, but is faith in the God of Life, Light and Love whose power is greater than any other and at the end is irresistible.

May every blessing be yours at this time

Steve Judd 

[Penny has recently been suffering from ill-health, so this message comes from one of our Church Elders.]

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