October 2019

…There’s a story in the bible about Joshua, and how he defeated the King of Jericho, marching around the city playing trumpets until the walls came tumbling down.  But before the Israelites could achieve this ‘glorious’ victory, they had to achieve something far more difficult than defeating a nation.


They had to overcome fear of the unknown.  They had to trust God despite everything that seemed to be telling them they could not hope to win if they crossed over the river Jordan and in to the Promised Land.  In fact a whole generation….actually more than one generation if you think about it…refused to follow God’s lead.  They were unable to trust in the God who had led them out of exile, who had fed them in the wilderness, and so they were left in the wilderness for another 39 years.  None of those who refused to trust ever stepped foot in the Promised Land.  Which may seem a bit harsh to some, but when you actually read the story you find that, despite this refusal to follow God’s commands, he didn’t abandon them.  He continued to care for them, to nurture them and lead them, until finally they learned to trust, to follow, and across the Jordan they filed.


It’s a story that has some interesting correlations to life in general.  Some might even suggest it has correlations to politics, trade and diplomatic relations with other countries, but I’m not sure I’m qualified to write about that.  What I can say is that the bible tells us no less than 365 times ‘Do Not Worry,’ which amount to one a day, unless it’s a Leap Year in which case February 29th should become National Worry Day I suppose.  ‘Easy for you to say Vicar’ you might think, ‘after all you’ve got the ear of the man upstairs.’  But I’m not immune to worrying.  To wondering if I’ve made the right decision, to having doubts and fears.  We all do.  Most of us will finds way to cope with such worries, some good ways, some not so good perhaps.  For me, I cope because I have learnt over the years to trust in God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  To discern God’s will and to try and live a life that glorifies Him.  I often fail…often fall short of the high ideals the model of Jesus has for us.  It’s what makes living a life of Christian Faith so difficult, because I can never live up to the one I follow, and I know it. 


But in trust I can do my best, and no-one can ask any more from us.  In trust we can find forgiveness when we get things wrong, peace when we’re struggling with life and doubts, and joy in the world we see around us.  Whilst adults may feel life has become consumed by Brexit (oh yes I did say it) for many of our 10-11 year olds in Kent primary schools , it’s currently about the 11+ or which school to choose for next year.  Personally I think they have far more to worry about than us.  If you don’t believe me, then ask a Year 6 to show you a Mock 11+ and let me know how you get on.  Life is all relative…fears can consume us if we let them.  Perhaps it’s time we learnt to enjoy the wonders around us, and appreciate the time we get to share with those we love and pray for….and just maybe those we don’t as well… 


May you come to know the peace of Jesus in your lives today and always…

Rev Paul