Marcus’ February Letter

I hope you have been enjoying going through some of the most famous and well-loved stories of the Old Testament as much as I have! I always find that there is so much to learn and that the more I think about them the more wonderful and profound they become. They have so much to say to us today in our church life at St Matthews. Take the story of Noah for example. As Minty helped us see, it is all about a world which was wrong being set right. Often people say to me, ‘the world is much a messed up place, if there is a good and loving God, why doesn’t He do anything about it?’ They would sort it all out if they could and are very keen to help Him sort it all out, with a ten step plan that they already have in mind, if only they had some way of communicating professional standards and job expectations to Him!

It’s a good question isn’t it in a way, but can we see what it fails to appreciate. We always think that when the Living God draws the line in the sand between all that is good and all that is bad, that we will fall on the right side. We would never want to imagine that we might be part of the problem. To the question ‘What is wrong with the world?’ G K Chesterton, once famously wrote to a newspaper editor, saying simply, ‘Dear Sir, I am.’ If the line in the sand was drawn today and all that is wrong with the world was cleared away, I’m afraid that I would fall on the wrong side of the line. There is one way through judgement, out into new life on the other side. This way is through being joined to the only man who is really and fully good, the Lord Jesus himself. Isn’t it beautiful that out of love for us, He has been looking for us all our lives and refused to give up until He found us, and that when we place our hand in His, He takes it and never lets it go and will bring us out into his own wonderful and never ending future. It feels that in many ways there are dark storm clouds gathering over church life in this country and we feel it over St Matthews as well. It is easy to be discouraged by our financial pressures and feel that we are in a lonely and uphill struggle into the future. If we will like Noah so long ago, increasingly throw our lot in with the Lord Jesus and really entrust ourselves to Him and to his care, we will find a safe way through the storm and through to new life and a new beginning, more wonderful than we could have ever asked or imagined, on the other side.

Please keep praying for our church family life, for renewed vision and life and vitality as we move together into the future. It is going to be a busy month ahead of us with Lent beginning. I can’t wait to get together each Wednesday of Lent as we look at the stories behind our stained glass windows. How well do we know Tyndale, Cranmer, Bunyan and Wesley? They were extraordinary men, whose lives changed the world and will thrill and inspire us today as we look towards the future. The future is bright, the future belongs to Jesus!

With love and every blessing in Christ,
Marcus

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