Letter from Rev. Bladen

I wonder if like me you hardly dare turn on the news at the moment? Day after day, week after week we hear the constant arguing, debate and discussion about Brexit and what kind of Brexit we could or should have. It’s torn the government apart, it’s divided political parties and it’s even divided families and friends. Whether we voted to leave or to remain, the length of time it’s taking and the constant debate has lead to a feeling of uncertainty in almost everything in the country. To quote the estate agent currently trying to sell my house; ‘We find ourselves entering uncharted territory which could prove to be a little turbulent.’

In the midst of uncertainty times it’s often hard to be positive and hard to find hope. In our Sunday services across the Benefice this Autumn we are concentrating on some of the characters from the Old Testament. People like Moses, Joshua and Abraham, David and Daniel, Esther and Ruth, all who also lived in challenging and uncertain times. Between them they contended with wars and famine, personal struggles and loss of identity, giants and lions, and all kinds of political and economic unrest and uncertainty. But in and through all their situations they had a growing reassurance that God was in it with them. Whether they were rescued from their situation or lived through it God was in the midst of it… holding on to them. When Joshua took over leading Israel after Moses had died, God spoke to him saying; “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you…” (Joshua 1:9) And in the New Testament when there was much uncertainty among the new Christians, St Paul encourages them to find things to be thankful for, and to rejoice in the good things they have in their lives. He encourages them saying;  “ Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6).

So whether this unsettled time worries you or just frustrates you… Perhaps like me you can find hope in the fact that throughout the bible we can see a God who loves us and walks through all of life with us, and like those ancient characters, we simple need to put our trust in Him.

If you’d like to join me and many others across the country in praying for our nation, this is a prayer from the Church of England.

God of hope

In these times of change,

Unite our nation and guide our leaders with your wisdom.

Give us courage to overcome our fears,

And help us to build a future

In which all may prosper and share,

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

God Bless

Cathy Bladen, Rector