Pastoral Letter

Dear Friends

I am beginning to enjoy the prelude to Spring. I know we have an actual date, but Spring itself seems to be quite variable. I love snowdrops because they herald the arrival of daffodils, primroses and a whole procession of seasonal flowers and vegetables. We are busy on the allotment and in our garden preparing for the growing season and the joys of the harvest ahead. That, of course, includes the friendships and camaraderie. There is something comforting about the regularity of the seasons, in Britain anyway. Even with the relative unpredictability of our weather and the odd years of drought or deluge the seasons, on the whole, seem to iron out and all is well. Of course, it is important to remember those who are much more dependant and whose weather is even more extreme. I guess I would describe our situation as possessing a fragile certainty, if that makes sense. It is that certainty, however that we rely on and so in good faith we go ahead and plant our vegetables with a realistic hope that we will have a harvest.

In wondering whether to write anything about Brexit this month I have been talking to various people and mulling it over myself, realising that the whole thing has been talked to death and many are pretty fed up with discussing it. Whether this is a good thing or not is unclear but it seems as if there is an extent to which many have become ‘immunised’. The reality is that none of us really know how this is going to turn out and there are differing opinions on that as well. Again, whether those opinions are based on fact or hearsay is unclear. Given our parliamentary system there seems little we can do. There are those, however, who are really anxious and for whom the uncertainty of the Brexit outcome is perceived to be a real threat in some way. Whatever the outcome there are going to be a whole range of feelings. Betrayal perhaps, relief, elation or sorrow, a sense of victory or anger. It is difficult to get a clear picture but, even there were to be another vote it would probably be close and there would still be elation or disappointment.

Where I have returned to, regardless of my original position and strong feelings, is a recognition that, however uncertain things are at the moment, there will be stability again. It has ever been the same. What is really important in the next weeks is to accept the outcome with grace, neither flaunting the victory in the face of others nor becoming angered and sullen. What will be, will be. We need to work together and support each other. It seems to me that uncertainties within the human world arise as a result of division and conflict. Whilst it is not necessarily possible to satisfy everyone it is important to recognise that we almost certainly have more in common, more that unites us and drives us forward, than divides us. I suppose what I am saying is that one of the best paths to certainty is by building together in a united way.

The real truth is that in our world, no one of us is truly in control of anything. That’s where my faith in Jesus comes in. God promises to be with us in every circumstance but that doesn’t mean that life will be a bed of roses. What it does mean is that God will be with us through all our joys and our sorrows, in our certainties and our uncertainties, through our support of each other, and more importantly will be with us, I believe, into our eternity.

Every blessing
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