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Letters from Tim

Dear friends,

I was in a meeting recently, when I found myself expressing thoughts and feelings in a rather angry tone. On reflection I can see what the trigger was but to my shame I was a little too forthright in my response. 

Whether we look at the run up to the US Presidential election, whether or not there will be a general or local lockdown again, whether it be global warming, the injustices for those trapped in poverty and so on, there are many triggers for feelings to run high.  Uncertainty feeds our insecurity, and so we find ourselves on edge. 

The yearning for normality is natural. It is easier, with fewer challenges, and the familiarity can be a comfort. But we have been living with many questions and fears for a long time now, with the prospect of this continuing for a long time to come.

Building resilience has never been more important. Many of the letters of St Paul are written from a prison cell. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his book ‘The Cost of Discipleship,’ also written from a prison cell, contrasts cheap grace and costly grace. Grace is costly not just because of it has come about through Jesus giving his life on the cross, but also because of the demands that it makes on the followers of Christ. ‘It compels a person to submit to the yoke of Christ and follow him. This may result in suffering but God will provide the strength necessary to endure.’

There is no magic wand which will remove the struggles we face. However, we do have the reassurance of those who have gone before and who witness to the presence and reality of God in the midst of the challenges.

The Autumn season is closing down around us. A preparation for rest, renewal and growth; hidden but real and hopeful in the face of decay and bareness. A time which calls for trust, waiting, and patience. I still have a lot to learn.

Peace

Tim


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