Parish News : September 2022

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How much difference can we make?

I am writing this while the country is sweltering in the middle of an unprecedented heatwave, a harsh reminder of the effects climate change has on our world.  Droughts have been officially declared in various parts of the country, badly affecting the farmers growing our food, and so we brace ourselves for the cost of our weekly shopping to go up (again).  All that at a time when we seem to hear constantly about the eye-watering amounts we are going to be charged for electricity, for gas, for petrol, for just about everything, this autumn.  As if the stresses we suffered due to Covid in the last couple of years were not enough.  What next, we wonder? 

Just when we think we cannot cope with anything else, another stress is thrown in our direction.  Just when we think things are about as chaotic as they possibly could be, something else comes along to muddy the waters even further.  Where is God in all of this?  Why does He not seem to be doing anything?

The short answer is that God IS at work in our world, in Blacon, right now.  He promises that we will not be put through more than we can bear (‘God is faithful and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength’ 1Corinthians 10.13).  But if we do not see God at work, that is probably because we are looking for the wrong sort of thing.  Because God is at work in the mess.  God works in small things.  He works in the poor, the weak, the oppressed. 

God is at work in that smile someone gives you in the street (or the smile you give to someone else).  He is at work in the prayer for a relative that only God hears you say. God is at work when you offer a neighbour in difficulty a helping hand.  He is at work in that kind word said to a stranger, that nobody else hears you say.  God is at work through you.

It is those small things, random acts of kindness, which you may not realise are important in God’s eyes, that are the important building blocks of the kingdom in this place.  You are the key builders of God’s kingdom here!   

It can be tempting to think that anything I do is only a drop in the ocean, what difference can one person make?  We think that when we look at the global problem like climate change.  We think that when we wonder whether it really matters to have a shorter shower, or not to water the garden with tap water?  It might only be a drop in the ocean – but what is the ocean made up of except lots of drops.  If you, and I, and everyone else consumes less, that will reduce the amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere, and thus the rate of global warming. We can all make a contribution.  And the same goes for building God’s kingdom.

Let us all do what we can in God’s service today, and tomorrow, and each day of our lives.  For His name’s sake, and to His greater glory. 

Tina Upton