The United Reformed Church Chesham

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February/March 2008 Newsletter

Dear Friends

In January I spent a good weekend away at the Hayes Conference Centre in Swanick. The subject for the weekend was 'Lord, teach us to pray.' On Saturday we woke to see that the dark and rain had cleared; the sky was blue and the sun shone. One of the choices for the morning was to go on an awareness walk and so I went out into the bright day, slowly wandering around the grounds, taking time to use the five senses to take in my surroundings. We rarely take the opportunity to pause and try to use all our senses in this way.

I stood at the side of the lake, warmed by the sun; suddenly there was a sharp splash. By the island in the center, a solitary black coot had dived head first into the water. The bird disappeared, completely immersed, but its position was clearly marked by the circle it left on the surface. The ripples from the circle spread and further circles formed until rippling, concentric circles, glinting in the sunlight, covered the lake's surface. The coot surfaced and soon dived again so that the process was repeated. How easy it was for the actions of one small bird to affect a large area of water. Small actions are not insignificant; they can spread ripples all around them. The people who smile as they go about their daily tasks, readily pass on that smile to those they meet.

February and March take us through the journey of Lent to Easter. We follow the many actions of Jesus and his disciples, seeing how the tensions grow until Good Friday is reached. The death of one man on that day may seem a small event in worldly terms, but the impact caused by that death has reverberated down the centuries. Jesus' act of love; his death on the cross to save us all from sin, was the start of an amazing reaction. Jesus' resurrection on Easter Sunday quietly and gradually witnessed by his friends started the spreading of the news that he was indeed alive. Wonderful news, that spread in reverberating circles to the ends of the earth.

Christ is alive - with us today!
God loved us so much that he gave his son that we might be forgiven
and by his grace know salvation and eternal life.

Whenever we feel helpless and that what we can do will be futile, let's remember that every action, however small, can make ripples and those ripples can spread in amazing ways.

With love,

Dear Lord, as we travel towards Easter, travel with us. Helps us to use all our senses to be open to your world and the people we meet. Help us to make a difference by small actions that show your love at work in our lives. Light for our darkness, shine in our hearts and minds. Through Jesus Christ, our living Lord.