Letter from Kevin 19th September
Dearly Beloved (for that is how God thinks of us!)
It has been a week of ups and downs, of highs and lows, for some it probably feels like those words from Romans 8:35, a week of “tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger or sword”. For others God feels near, and his Kingdom close, and for some both feel true! The theologian C.S. Lewis, author of the Narnia books, said “Though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not.” Thank God for it, as I know for myself that my feelings do not always line up with the truth of God’s message to us, but my feelings do not change that truth.
One of the church fathers, Augustine spoke of how much God loves us when he said, “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us”. His love is vast and immeasurable, caring for his whole creation yet loving each one of us deeply.
In a week when we heard the terrible news about Linda Mateyo can I ask you please to continue to pray for comfort for her family and friends, particularly Alois, Nicole and Kye. A special prayer request that Linda’s parents will be able to obtain a visa and a flight into the UK in time for her funeral. Just as we rejoice with each other in good times, we weep together in hard times holding on to the comfort of a Father God who loves us and cares for us even when we cannot always understand that situation we find ourselves in.
Can I encourage you to lift Christine Ketteridge to the Lord in your prayers. If you want to contact her please text first to see if she is awake, if she is she can text back, if she is asleep she won't text back so please don't disturb her. Also please pray for Christine's granddaughter, Ruby (just three and a half years old), who is going into hospital in Leicester next week for an operation on Wednesday to close a hole in her heart. Lord God, be with Ruby as she goes through this surgery, and may your hand of protection be upon her.
We also hold the Pender family in our prayers, Sheila, John, Carla, Libh and all the family, may the hand of the Lord Almighty be upon them, bringing strength, health and healing.
I know many have been praying faithfully for my wife, Kate, over these last couple of months, and we are grateful to have her home with us, it is early days in terms of recovery but we are seeing progress and continue to hold her in prayer. Our love and prayers for one another help bind us together in the faith we share, please keep praying for these situations. Even in my short time here with you it has felt like many of the church family are experiencing hard times and ill health and now more than ever we need to lift each other in prayer to the Lord, to hold close the truth that nothing shall separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
Life continues apace further afield and we have received a ‘Message from Madagascar’ from Derek and Jane, please hold them in prayer as they have returned to the UK.
The latest edition of the St Columba Bible reading plan is here to keep you going until January, can I encourage you to press in to reading God’s word in this season, to hear his heart through his scriptures.
This week’s Energize resources are on the theme of the Plagues in Egypt
Our online service continues apace and you can find it here;
There is also a words-only version.
There are no puzzles from Steve Scholes this week but I understand he is beavering away on a new edition of the newsletter, something to look forward to!
There’s a great message about the heart based on this week’s reading from William in the service, so let’s be ready to open our ears, eyes and heart to take in all that God is trying to say to us this week.
May your week be full of faith, love, grace and peace.