PASTORAL LETTER FROM MARTIN LETTS 10th FEBRUARY 2021

Making a difference

We can each make a difference, but it does need a little determination and prayer. Each of us has a talent, or more than one. We also have to step out of our comfort zone, or step out of the boat as Peter literally did when he went to meet Jesus walking on the water.

I’m not advocating we walk on water but there are many small opportunities we might see often, such as helping someone, phoning them and having a chat.

If someone says I haven’t got time to do a good turn or to say thank you, remind them; we each have exactly the same amount of time to use every day – it’s just a matter of priority. 

Encouragement is another little item which seems sometimes in short supply. When I used to work (many years ago now!) the managers didn’t seem to understand that a little encouragement goes a long way to get the job done. And it costs nothing. I was hopeless at school learning French so they put me into a Spanish class. The Spanish teacher did encourage me and I became keen and rose towards the top of the class. Jesus must have used encouragement towards his disciples.  When Peter took his steps out of the boat to meet him on the water I’m sure Jesus spoke words which inspired Peter. Jesus used to call Simon Peter the Rock, or Rocky as we might be saying in our time. Peter was tempestuous, always rushing in – the first to enter Jesus’s tomb (John 20 v 6). Yet he was the foundation stone upon which our faith in Jesus was entrusted. Paul too started by persecuting the early Christians, but after his conversion was the enthusiastic leading light in bringing Christianity to us the Gentiles. His letters are full of encouragement to the early Christian churches. Of course, they are full of love too.

We are all feeling a little low at the moment. Grey skies, cold weather and lack of being able to go out may all contribute to our general feeling of “down-ness”. But let’s think of others. Maybe we could pick up the phone and chat for a while to those we can’t meet up with at the moment. Maybe an email would help, even a video call if you have a smart phone. I am finding when I phone my friends they are only too eager to say what they’re up to. Serious things like “How are you getting on with your jigsaw” or “Is it dustbin day today?” It is interesting to hear what happens when you say “How are you?” then await a reply.

I wonder if our faith can be likened to a precious jewel, polished with many facets? We are the facets reflecting God’s light onto the world. Some of us, facets, are a bit dusty and some shiny. Let’s polish up our image for God. We don’t know what the future may hold for each of us but let’s be ready and maybe even be a little tempestuous like Peter – willing to help when and where we can. Or even enthusiastic like Paul – for that’s what “enthusiasm” means: God within us.

Blessings and God’s peace be with you.

Martin

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