Mat’s April Letter

I’m writing this shortly after our wonderful weekend away at Brunel Manor and shortly before the annual meeting, Holy Week and Easter.

Ian Stackhouse led the input on the Saturday of the weekend and, I believe, spoke God’s word very clearly into our life. If you get the chance to listen to the recordings which should be on our website soon, or to read his book ‘The Day is Yours’ then I’d recommend you do so. All who were there will have taken different things from the weekend. For me the theme became about trusting God for and in each moment of each day seeking to live attentive to the presence of God and thankful for the gift of each moment. Ian suggested that we do that by welcoming each morning as a fresh opportunity to receive the mercy and grace of God which is new every morning (Lamentations 3:23Open Link in New Window); by pausing each midday even for a short time to thank God for his provision and pray against the restlessness of the noon-day; by ending the day well, intentionally reconciling all that has happened, letting go and entrusting all to God (Mark 4:26Open Link in New Window ff) before relinquishing control as we go to sleep. God often works when we are asleep and has done so throughout scripture.

As well as this excellent input we also had the gift of time for one another and it was wonderful to see the St Matthew’s community enjoying one another’s company, engaging in fun and conversation. (Although my joints are still reminding me that rugby on the beach may not have been a great idea—fun though)

The weekend reminded me that, whether we were in Torquay or not, it is a great privilege and gift to be a member of the big family of God. And a great joy to be part of a Christ centred community. I wonder what others felt the weekend was about for us? Perhaps we could share those thoughts to encourage one another.

For me, return to Bristol meant preparations for our annual meeting and Holy Week and Easter. Return to the realities of life from the weekend mountaintop. In the midst of this the challenge is to continue to live out the greater reality of trust in our ever faithful, eternally loving and utterly gracious God in all the ups and downs of life. And to be thankful for all that God has done for us, and does for us.


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