The United Reformed Church Chesham

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August/September 2015 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. (1Kings 19) He had shown that the gods of Baal were powerless and had their prophets slain. King Ahab tells Jezebel what has happened and she is furious and wants Elijah killed. Elijah goes a day’s journey into the desert, sits down under a broom tree and prays that he may die. "I have had enough Lord." (v4) He falls asleep and twice he senses an angel touch him, wake him and tell him to eat the fresh cake and water put there for him. He is strengthened by the food and travels 40 days and nights to the mountain of Horeb where he goes into a cave to rest. In the morning the Lord said he would come to Elijah. First there was a strong wind, then an earthquake and then fire, but the Lord was not in any of these, he came in a gentle whisper and told Elijah what to do next.

How many people today are afraid and running away in fear of their lives? They will risk everything to try and find a safe place where their family can settle. It is difficult for us to comprehend their desperation and governments including our own struggle to see a way to help the problem. Human beings with many sad stories; people looking for help and hope and yet fences of razor wire greet them. There are no easy answers.

As I write it is 70 years since the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6th and 9th August 1945. Statements at the time justified this action by saying it would hasten the end of the War, showing that the Allies were more powerful than the Germans. What a price to pay for this action – 140 000 killed and three days later another 74 000 and many left with long-term sickness and disability. There was nowhere for the people to run to get away.

Jesus words telling us to “love our enemies” and that “What you do for one of these you do for me” guide us to ways of peace. Can we learn from the horrors of the past? Do we see human faces and stories rather than an annoying problem?
Most of us will not have experienced the need to run away. We have grown up in stable, safe homes and we are thankful for the happy memories we have. Through our prayers may we see wisdom and justice for those struggling today – not just a solution to a large problem, but help for human beings like you and me.

Following the breaks in August our activities return in September and details are in this newsletter. We look forward to a great Harvest weekend on 26th to 27th September, when there will be a quiz and supper on the Saturday and a celebration service on the Sunday when we hope to give ‘hunger the boot!’ We hope to see you all there.

With love,

Sometimes Lord we want to run away.
The problems seem too large.
Help us instead to turn to you.
Guide us in the days to come and strengthen us for the tasks ahead.
When we see the needs of others,
we pray that we will lift their needs up for your care and that through you there may be answers.
This autumn may we encourage each other as we share in learning and laughing together.