The United Reformed Church Chesham

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May 2007 Newsletter

Dear Friends

When my children were small, I came across this small rhyme:

Something important happened.
I go to tell daddy, he's too busy working to listen,
I go to tell mummy, she's busy too,
I go and tell my teddy,
He's never too busy to listen to me.

Most people grow up with a teddy bear or favourite toy, who hears all their secrets. It is a great comfort to have such a 'friend'. As we grow up we donít rely on listening toys, but still retain affection for our childhood companion.

When Jesus told the disciples he was going to die, he said he would not leave them orphaned, but would send a comforter to be with them always.

"All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:25-27

The Holy Spirit came as that comforter to give them strength and peace to follow Christ's example. The Holy Spirit is far more than any cuddly toy or listening friend. He/she is there for each of us today just as for those first disciples. This month we are holding a special family service when everyone will be invited to bring along a teddy bear. We will be looking at things that make us feel comfortable and cosy and things that can unsettle us. We will start to think about the coming of the Spirit on the first Pentecost, which we will celebrate the following Sunday. Jesus knows we need someone with time to listen to us; someone to act as our guide and comforter. As adult Christians we are offered the Holy Spirit to be in our lives. How can we recognise the Spirit at work? Over the years all sorts of images have been used Ė a dove, tongues of fire, wind, light. We all experience things differently and likewise the Holy Spirit, but I expect there is something of that cosy feeling that as children we gained from cuddling our teddy-bears!

The Holy Spirit is often seen as a difficult part of the Trinity to describe. We will be exploring the work of the Spirit in the Alpha Course that starts this month. Do come along and add your ideas. If you can't make all the evenings, don't worry; come when you can, just let us know so we prepare enough food for the opening meal.

Donít forget to bring your teddy bear on the 20th May and bring his pot of honey or marmalade sandwiches for the picnic lunch after the service!

With love

Come Holy Spirit, come.
Bring your comfort, strength and peace,
to our world, to our community,
to our friends and family
and to each of us. Amen