The United Reformed Church Chesham

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June/July 2008 Newsletter

Dear Friends

What do you want to be when you grow up? What will you do when you retire? We always seem to be looking ahead, whether the question is to a young person or someone older. Are they the most sensible questions to ask? We all plan ahead to some extent and need to, but do we think about our true priorities and the reality of our situation in that planning. In our group discussions we have recently talked about the meaning of life and where we place God. Jesus tells us not to worry, because God will look after us; he knows what we need. He looks after the birds and flowers, so he will not neglect his own children. Strive for God’s kingdom and the Father will give you what you need. "Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. ... For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Reassuring words when we find it difficult to look ahead. If we put each day in God's hands, we will be given what we need for that day.

In an uncertain world it is a comfort to know we can turn to God. Yet often the questions come faster than answers as we try to reconcile our belief in a loving creator with the occurrence of tragic natural disasters such as the cyclone in Burma and the earthquake in China. Even in our own lives or the lives of those close to us, we may feel overwhelmed by what is happening. Making future plans is very hard for all who live with uncertainty and suffering. Hope, peace, love - signs of God at work can be experienced however dark the day seems. Jesus suffered and so we can be confident that God does understand and will be beside those who suffer. Through Jesus we know that death is not an end, but a beginning; a moving on to a wonderful life free from the troubles of this world.

This does not answer all the questions, but we can be reassured by knowing that everything is in God’s hands. Where would we be if there was no God? It would be very difficult to find any hope or future joy beyond any current tragedy. The purpose of life would be gratification here and now; if disaster struck, there would be little reason for going on living, hoping and loving. God is there for us whatever may happen. G.K Chesterton was asked to imagine he was an atheist and say what he would miss most. His reply was quick and simple, “Someone to say thank you to.”
Take a moment to quietly think what God adds to your life.

As we watch and wonder at the summer beauty of the gardens and countryside around us; as we are grateful for the safety of our homes; as we experience the love of friends and family, we can be thankful and see the light of God shining through our lives.
Why wait for tomorrow to celebrate, when we can enjoy each day as it comes!

With love,

Prayer using the words from the J.G. Whittier hymn:
Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
forgive our foolish ways!
Reclothe us in our rightful mind;
in purer lives thy service find,
in deeper reverence, praise.
     Drop thy still dews of quietness,
till all our strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace.           Amen.