Vicar's Letter - 18.04

   Vicar’s Letter – Out of Control - April 2018

Watching the news last night there were a number of stories that were based on fear and insecurity. So many situations where people were seeking to stay in control of their lives in the way that they responded to what was happening around them. In the church we are now bombarded by the need for risk assessments and staying safe. I recently had to argue for the use of real candles in an old people’s home communion service as we had been offered safer candles that were battery operated.

Now clearly we need to be cautious at times and make sure that everything is done to avoid accidents or injury. But can we really ever get to a point when we are truly in control.

It almost seems as if we should avoid any chance of a mess in case it overwhelms us. But in order to make anything worthwhile there is usually a stage in that creative process which involves being at least little out of control. When decorating a room, baking a cake or having a baby there is always a stage that is just a little out of control: that part when the walls are laid bare and the imperfections underneath become obvious, the mixing of all the ingredients and the peering through the oven door, that point in a birth when all the pre arranged plans are put to one side. In order to make something beautiful you need to take risks.

One of the remarkable things about the Easter story is that God became man and suffered for us. The cross and the resurrection point to a God who triumphed only after he had suffered and sacrificed himself for us. In doing this he put himself into a position when others had power over him. Jesus emptied himself of all privilege and status. He became the object of scorn of some bored, brutal soldiers who took out on him their frustration of being posted to Palestine. Then they nailed him naked to the cross.

What happened at Easter all those years ago was a defining moment in the history of humanity. It was place of restoration and renewal. It has inspired some of the greatest achievements of the human race. But it all happened because God was prepared to give up his security so that a new way forwards could be fashioned for us all.

In difficult times we need to hold onto the capacity to trust God when we feel out of control. For we can never be totally in charge of all that happens to us. We need to learn to live with a degree of insecurity and accept that is how life works best. In the end it is our choice to be either anxious, fearful people or those who have faith, hope and love.

May the God of love bless us with his peace,                                                Neil


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