To think about...
' Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.' (Proverbs 3: 5 - 6)
Family News
NOTES FROM THE MINISTER
6 November 2019

I have probably mentioned before, either in writing or verbally, that one of my favourite books is ‘Goodbye Mr Chips,' by James Hilton. This tells the story of an English Schoolmaster, Charles Edward Chipping, and his time at Brookfield School. Here, he matures from being an inexperienced young teacher, liable to having the boys under his care make a mockery of his discipline, to one who is revered and respected as being the bedrock of the institution.

Part of the story centres on the First World War in which, despite having retired, Chips is asked by the Governors to return as Acting Headmaster. He ‘shrank instinctively' from being appointed fully as Headmaster ‘feeling himself in so many ways unequal to it' As he put it, ‘I'm not a young man and I don't want people to - um - expect a lot from me. I'm like all these new colonels and majors you see everywhere - just a war-time fluke. A ranker, that's all I am really.' Despite Chips belief of that, he did successfully hold Brookfield together. His character and experience being crucial in maintaining stability in a world at war with itself and in which uncertainty and fear was rife.

As we, on Remembrance Sunday, join together in the two minute silence our thoughts may well stray, not only to those who have sacrificed their all for us, but also to those who continue to do so. These people might not all have a significant rank but they are crucial in maintaining stability and peace for us all.

Not only that, but they can also act as a pointer towards where our own responsibility lies in changing the world around us for the better. Ordinary though we may feel we are, we can make such a difference if we would but recognise the power we have access to. Phillipians 4 verse 13 says, ‘I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.' Note, it doesn't say this thing, that thing or some things. It says ALL things!

Our problem, perhaps, is that, even though we profess ourselves as being Christian, we are unwilling to take the step out, in faith, to do things that bring God and His love into the consciousness of those around us and thus change the world. We are comfortable with our life and our ways because both suit us where we are, as we are. Why would we want to do anything differently?

Author Cherie Carter-Scott wrote ‘Ordinary people believe only in the possible. Extraordinary people visualize not what is possible or probable, but rather what is impossible. And by visualizing the impossible, they begin to see it as possible.'

As you stand contemplating the sacrifice of others on Remembrance Sunday will you reflect on what you could do to bring the ‘impossible' into being? Will you reflect that, next month, we'll remember one who was born in a stable and whose sacrifice showed that God is in the business of changing the world?