Newsletter Reflection for Sunday 2 October 2011
As you read this on Sunday morning, I'm away at Noosa for the weekend. How do I manage this amazing feat? (OK some people manage a weekend away without any help at all – they're quite heroic. I need help.)
I can do it because someone else is driving (so I don't need to use that much energy), and helping pay the cost; and yet another amazing person is at my place watching over the house, my offspring, and the multitudinous menagerie of manic animals.
So I can be away confident that I can get there and back without having to find the energy to drive, and no-one at home will starve while I'm gone.
Last Sunday, for the children's talk, I read Tom Kerr's “Parable of the Pinkie”. It's about the nature of living as part of the church. Every one of us has value. Every one of us has gifts and skills to help the others. And every one of us needs the others.
That's true of everyone, but those of us who've been sick have had to become very aware of it. When we're at our weakest, is when we most see the amazing gift God has given us in each other. When we're struggling and know others are praying for us, it makes a difference. When someone just does some amazing thing to help us out (someone from the church – I won't mention names for fear of embarassing them – came and gave my house a thorough clean up a couple of weekends ago when I was in lots of pain) it makes a difference. Knowing someone is praying, or them actually cleaning my house or doing something else wonderful for me may not stop the physical pain – but it helps me feel stronger despite the pain. It reminds me I'm not alone, that God is with me, and so are God's people.
Other people tell me it's the same for them. Just knowing the church is with them, praying for them, or being available to help in practical ways when needed, makes getting through a hard time easier. If you cook a meal or run an errand for someone you know is having a hard time, it might not seem a big deal to you, but it could be a miracle for them.
That's what it is to be a part of the church. Every single one of us makes a huge difference, not just to the church as a whole, but to every other person. Every one of us is God's gift to the others.
In a few weeks' time, we're going to commission our new elders! I'm suggesting we commission the elders on Lay Ministry Sunday and use it as a day, not only to commission Julie and Marella, but also celebrate the gifts and ministries of all of the people in our congregation.
Grace and Peace
Next few Sundays:
9 October: Holy Communion
16 October: Harvest Festival
23 October: Lay Ministry Sunday/ Commissioning of Elders.