Timothy Astin, February 2018
As the days start to lengthen again after Christmas, the temptation to hibernate becomes a little less, and the pull of more active days to come becomes stronger. It can be a time of year to plan holidays to come; for some a time to review relationships and perhaps commit to a wedding; in all sorts of ways to look ahead with hope.
Our church is making all sorts of plans for the future too. Through the year there will be various exciting social events and fund-raisers, starting with the Jumble Sale on Saturday 24th February, closely followed by the Scottish Evening at the beginning of March.
In our spiritual life and worship, plans are unfolding too. Pentecost Sunday (20th May) will see a Confirmation Service in Tadworth, and preparation groups for both adults and older children are being planned to start after Easter.
Saturday training days will take place to support our worship: 10th Feb for Leading Prayers (Intercessors) and for Servers; 24th March for Junior Church leaders and helpers; 14th April for Bible Readers and Welcomers (Sidespeople).
The planning for the rebuild of our organ is picking up pace, together with the supporting fund-raising activities, just one aspect of the care for, and development of, our buildings in support of our good news, our gospel.
These are all signs of a healthy church. Yet, all this hope for the future needs to be tempered with living securely and joyfully in the present. For “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” (based on lines from Robert Burns’ ‘To a Mouse’).
It is the Spirit of God which animates us day by day, and our plans may not always be God’s plans. So this Lent, we offer study groups to explore living in the Kingdom of God, based on some of Jesus teaching (“the kingdom of God is like ...”).
And because God’s creativity is so much more than our own, if we let it God’s Spirit can lead us into some unexpected and fruitful paths, as well as guiding our unfolding plans.
There is a lovely prayer in Ephesians 3 v 20-21. May it be your prayer and mine.
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or conceive, by the power which is at work among us, to Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all ages.