The United Reformed Church Chesham

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September 2006 Newsletter

Dear Friends

Jesus calling the Twelve to him, sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits. These were his instructions: Take nothing for the journey except a staff - no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra tunic. (Mark 6:7-9)

I was reminded of Jesus telling the disciples to travel light, when I visited Dove Cottage in the Lake District this summer. William Wordsworth, with his family, lived there for several years. Wordsworth traveled widely in this country and abroad and looking round the home we were shown the small case he took with him Ė no bigger than a modern briefcase. We were told all he required to take was a nightshirt, a day shirt, a razor, a pen and paper. It was considered unhealthy to wash too much. They lived and ate simply. When Walter Scott stayed, he was known to climb out of the window and head for a meal in the local hostelry, because although they offered him three hot meals a day, two were porridge! Life was less complex at the beginning of the 19th century!

When I compare this with all the bits and pieces I take on various journeys, maybe we all need to rethink our luggage plans and lighten up the load. The heightened security on the airlines has shown just how much people expect to take, and thatís just in hand luggage. I am sure it wasnít just physical luggage Jesus was referring to. We need to unclutter ourselves and be like children.

I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3-4)
We need to clear our minds and shake off preconceived ideas, so we can be open to Godís guidance.

September comes with many new starts. Excess baggage can obscure the important things we need to do. Excess baggage can obscure the leading of Godís Spirit. As we make new beginnings, letís travel wisely and think what we really need for our journeys.

Happy travelling with God.

With love

A prayer for new beginnings:
Gracious God, you guide us through life, if we let you.
Too often we over burden ourselves with possessions and worries.
Help us to see clearly and simply, what we really need.
Guide us and guard us, so that our burdens lighten.
As each new challenge comes,
may we know the support of your Spirit to equip us for what lies ahead. Amen