Keep in Touch: 26th July 2020

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26th July 2020

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Many of you will know that over the past fortnight Clive and I were away on holiday in the Lake District. When we booked that last year, we had no idea that we would have been the very first visitors in the cottage for several months. As we drove off on the first morning people were allowed to go away, there was anxiety on our part, and I think on the part of our host, as to how it would go. But it was all fine, and we felt very safe hidden away deep in the countryside. The place had undergone extra cleaning, and there was disinfectant spray for our use. Once we had got over that hurdle, we were able to relax and simply enjoy the rest. Sitting back, allowing tension to ease, without any ‘to-do list’ or demands on the day, was immensely refreshing. We all need to take time to pause, to rest, to lean on the Lord.

The reading from the letter to the Romans set for today begins with Paul reminding us that the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness (Rom 8.26). He knows all our faultlines, he knows what our deepest needs are. He is able to express those to God in prayer, even when we cannot find any words to pray or when we do not understand what we need to be praying for. ‘The Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.’

So there is no need for us to make heavy weather of praying (though too often I know I do). God wants us to depend on Him, to rest in His arms, He wants us to stop and take time to listen to Him, to allow ourselves to hear His will for us, and for those we pray for. The Spirit will guide us and prompt us and teach us and comfort us as we do so. Because God has a plan for your life. He gives us free will (why, I do not know, given what a mess of things we so often make) so sometimes we do not make choices which align with what He wanted. But He is able to take the mistakes, the wrong turns, the confusions of our lives and turn them into something beautiful, to His praise and glory. Hence as Paul says in verse 28, ‘All things work together for the good for those who love God’. Or, in other translations, ‘God works for the good for those who love him.’ That means, in absolutely everything that happens, however tragic, however traumatic, God weaves a plan to bring good out of it. And He lets us see that through Holy Spirit in our lives.

We can sometimes feel as though things in the real world are so difficult, so painful, so nasty, that to think of good things coming out of bad situations is just fanciful, wishful thinking. But what could be more traumatising, more likely to make people feel incredibly fearful, than death by crucifixion? We know that God raised Jesus from the dead, and He raises us up from our low points in that same Christ Jesus.

And so Paul reminds us, God’s love is deeper and broader and wider than any of our fears. His love lasts longer (for all eternity in fact), and there is nothing in this world or in the next that is ever going to be able to separate us from His love in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8.39). Let us always hold on to that and be assured of that, even if things are hard-going.

Tina Upton


READINGS for the 7th Sunday after Trinity (Year A)

  • 1 Kings 3:5-12
  • Psalm 119:129-136
  • Romans 8:26-39
  • Matthew 13:31-33. 44-52

Readings available to read online (New Revised Standard Version - NRSV)


NOTICES

Holy Trinity Blacon are the living church of our living God, and we continue to be at work here!  If you are able, do check the parish website (especially the Coronavirus Support page) or our Facebook page  for updates.  We will put further worship and prayer up there (and on our You Tube channel) each Sunday morning by 10am.

JOIN US FOR EVENING PRAYER
every Wednesday at 5pm.  If you are not on the internet, it is possible to join us over the telephone – please contact us in advance if you would like to do that.

DAILY HOPE
is a free phone line for hymns, prayers and reflections – 0800 804 8044

FOR THOSE IN NEED 
Holy Trinity Church Hall is providing emergency food for families and individuals in need at this time. To register for this, please use this form.   For more information, please contact Blacon Action Team by email or 07719960541.

EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT
is the subject of a course a number of us are doing on Thursday evenings, by Zoom internet link. The next session is 7.30pm on 6 th August. If you are interested in taking part, do contact Tina or Louise for details of the link.

ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER
We would love to hear from you!  Do share with us any photos, poems, verses, pictures, songs, reflections, to keep in touch and encourage the rest of us.

SAD NEWS
on 10th July a long-standing church member Ted Whitley passed away. His funeral is on Friday 31st July 10am for family only, but it is being live-streamed on the internet. If you would like the details of how to tune in to that, please contact Rev Tina Upton.

PRAYING FOR BLACON
During lockdown, Louise and Tina are taking our exercise particularly along those streets we are praying for each week.  Do join us in praying for those residents.  This week we pray for: Rhuddlan Road, Carmel Close, Rose Close, Stamford Road.

CHURCH OPENING PCC
met last week and after long discussion, decided that we will restart worship in church (with many precautions to prevent transmission of Covid-19 infection) on Sunday 6th September 9.30am. It will be a said service of Morning Prayer, and this will be the only service initially, though after a while we hope to return to two morning services and a Eucharist.