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Letters from Tim

Dear Friends,

Many thanks for all the responses to the recent questionnaire. I have received a good number of responses; it will take a while to collate them all but if you feel that you would still like to make a response or to have a chat about it by phone, do please do so. 

I recognise that many of the questions were really hard to answer, either as an individual or from the perspective of our church community. It would be so much easier if we could meet face to face to explore these things together.

The reading for this coming Sunday (Matthew 14: 13 – 21) is the story of the feeding of the 20,000.  Read to the end of the story and then do the maths! The context is in the aftermath of the news that John the Baptist had been executed. A popular revolutionary figure standing up for God in the face of injustice and political oppression. John’s call for a refocussing of priorities in life both individually and corporately, led to his death. 

Jesus went away by himself to absorb the horrible news; if it happened to John, what might happen to himself? But the crowds followed giving him no room to grieve; and they all found themselves hungry in the wilderness.

Finding oneself isolated and separated from the usual means of sustenance is not easy. Whatever our experience of lockdown, where and how we have found food for the journey of life will vary from person to person. Maybe we have surprised ourselves in the ways we have or have not coped.

The miraculous feeding when it seemed impossible, rang bells to the followers of Jesus who would remember God’s provision in the desert when Moses led them. It happened for them, now it is happening to us. And we may recall the echoes of being fed in our communion services and yearn for that fellowship and sustenance now.

This story reminds us that God uses and blesses what is before us now. From what seems to be meagre scraps there is more than enough for all with plenty left over. Our reliance on God’s provision and guiding through these difficult days still has the capacity to surprise, shock and sustain us into the future.

Peace Tim

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