To think about...
I've read the last page of the Bible. It's all going to turn out all right. Billy Graham
Family News
NOTES FROM THE MINISTER
9 July 2019

'I wonder what happens in Bible Buzz?' you might, occasionally, ask yourself. Of course, you already have your answer because it has been around a while, you know people who attend it and it is spoken of as being an opportunity to study the Bible over tea and coffee amongst friends.

You might, therefore, be surprised to learn that for a few weeks we went away from Bible Study per se and looked, instead, at the Prologue to the Rule of Saint Benedict. This Prologue begins with the words 'Listen, child of God, to the guidance of your teacher.' 

St Benedict's intention is to enable those who follow his Rule to do so in unity with each other but, more importantly, with total focus on the one who must be followed 'at all times and in all places', God. Thus, in the Prologue we read 'Attend to the message you hear and make sure that it pierces to your heart, so that you may accept with willing freedom and fulfil by the way you live the directions that come from your loving Father.' 

Such words can be a little jarring to us since we are not overly aware of any directions coming from our loving Father. To dissipate our sense of unease we propound our excuse that St Benedict was writing to those who desired to live in community and we, as twenty first century Christians, face totally different circumstances, expectations and pressures, particularly on our time. 

That may well be the case but it doesn't respond to the one particular thing that has not changed over the centuries, namely our tendency to turn our back on God. God, though, being who He is, never turns His back on us. Being a loving Father, His greatest desire is that we 'return' to Him after going astray. 

When we recognise that desire of God's and we decide to begin the journey of restoration we need to take a first step. St Benedict says, as the 'beginning' of his advice, 'make prayer the first step in anything worthwhile that you attempt.' 

That may appear challenging because prayer is, usually, our last resort rather than our first. We don't tend to pray about every situation we find ourselves in or every task we do beforehand. We might pray about them afterwards but might is the operative word. However, with commitment, with practise and through listening in prayer you will begin to experience a satisfying awareness of your deepening relationship with God and of His direction for your life.  

Be honest with yourself, do you need to take the first step to 'return' to God? Why not pray right now?