First of all, may I take this opportunity to thank you for your warm welcome to myself and my family, plus friends who came to the Circuit Welcome Service. I am enjoying meeting you and know that I have still some of you to meet and I look forward to that.
The challenge I have at the moment, is finding my way around and I’ve found my satnav handy. I put the postcode in and it guides me to where I need to be. The only problem is, it doesn’t tell me where I am going, only where I presently am and to follow the small image of the car on the screen and the words of the faceless voice telling me to “take the first exit..”. So, I have to trust this small device to tell me “you have reached your destination”.
Recently, I was going to a meeting and didn’t check the address on a map first, which I usually do, and just followed the satnav, only to find that the address was only 3 minutes away! And I was far too early! The choice was either to go home and come back or wait nearby for a few minutes. I waited nearby – a good excuse for extra prayer time!
In this modern time of gadgets, we have many items at our fingertips or the click of the computer ‘mouse’. It reminds me of the warning we had in the recent lectionary readings that God gave to Moses, about his people worshipping other idols instead of turning to God (Exodus 32: 7-14). God reminds us to turn to him for guidance and to trust in him. In the Bible there are many stories where God guided his people: Noah, Abraham and Sarah (Genesis), Moses and Aaron, Joshua and Caleb, to name just a few. He led Moses and the people “in a pillar of cloud by day, to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light…” (Exodus 13: 21-22).
Jesus tells us in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”. Jesus guides us to God, our Father, through the Holy Spirit who he sends to us in his name (John 14:26).
In the following weeks/months, we will be witnessing together, in our churches and our communities. We will be discussing the vision of our Circuit and local churches and what that means for us as a church playing our part in God’s mission. Let us be guided by God, with the help of the Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name, so that together we “reach our final destination”. May God’s blessing be upon us.
Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us o’er the world’s tempestuous sea; guard us, guide us, keep us, feed us, for we have no help but thee, yet possessing every blessing if our God our Father be.
StF 238, James Edmeston (1791-1867)