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Dear Friends

When did you last pause to listen to a bird’s singing, or watch a sunset, or look and look at a tree or flower? The world is full of the signs of heaven if only we have the eyes to see, everywhere and in everything we can see the work of the Creator. If only we have the eyes to see and make the time to pause and look.

Children display a wonderful curiosity and wonder at the world they discover in the ordinary that adults can so easily miss. We can all try to emulate children in this respect. Perhaps this is something of what Jesus meant when he told people to be as children, and “welcome the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Mark 10: 15)

I write this letter at the end of October, aware that the evenings are drawing in, the clocks changing, and the leaves falling; decay in full swing. It can be a depressing time.

“Grandma, why do trees take off their clothes in the autumn?” asked a small child.

“Because they’re worn out and must be turned in for new ones”, explained Grandma.

“Where do they get the new ones?”

“From the ground”, said Grandma, “where Mother Nature is busy preparing a new spring wardrobe for them.”

That grandma was a good example of how we all should be, able to look and enjoy the world with childlike wonder. Autumn has its own beauty, its own joys, And there in the decay and dying, there is beauty and purpose; there can be no spring and new life without the decay and death.

We have kept All Saints Day on 30th October when we celebrated the lives of all the countless number of Christians who have lived exemplary lives in some way, but don’t have their own day. They are now dead, but the fruits of their lives live on in the Church throughout and so much else that is the fruit of their labours.

At 7.00pm on 2nd November, All Souls’ Day, was held this being our annual service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance for our own departed loved ones. As we remember them, and pray for them in God’s nearer presence so we can think of all that was good in their lives, the fruits of their lives, and give thanks.

In all of this there is sadness, but also hope and joy… Jesus, God incarnate has gone through death and opened for us the gateway to eternal life, a new life.

Even on Remembrance Sunday, when we are made aware of the tragedy of war and the catastrophes that come from human sin there is hope in the acts of courage, generosity and peace making that we also remember, and renew our resolve anew to work for peace in our world, starting in with our own lives and relationships.

This year we celebrate our School’s centenary. To mark its opening we had a special service of celebration on November 2nd, the exact day our school opened in 1916. So much fruit has grown from all that has been given in all who have worked and supported the school from the original vision to the present day. The service is to be led by Bishop Mark.

Let us then watch the autumn changes life, decay and death with childlike awe and wonder and enjoy, opening ourselves to find God and at work in his creation. But also to see in in Autumn signs of what is going on at a much deeper and even more mysterious level, the workings of God in life, death and the new life of Christ in eternity.

Lord, help me to see the world

with the same beauty it had

when it tumbled from your creative hand.

Help me see that

“nothing here below is profane.

On the contrary, everything is sacred.”

With love and prayers

James


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Webpage icon Magazine articles December 2017