Rector's Letter

All in the Space of Two Days...

In the past couple of weeks we’ve held our Annual Meetings in St James’ and in St Leonard’s. In them, we reviewed what God has been doing in our churches during 2017, and we shared some of our hopes and plans for 2018. There was much to give thanks for, and much to pray for.

While all of this was going on, I heard from a colleague in ministry about his experiences over a period of just two days following Easter. A person who for a long time had refused to believe that Jesus did actually die phoned him and said, "I'm so sad and angry how Jesus died. I want to come over and talk about it." They met and had a fruitful time studying the Bible together on that topic.

Then a neighbour asked if he could come to church with him. What a wonderful (and rare) request! This neighbour then, practically in the same breath, expressed his vigorous opposition to the notion of Jesus being the Son of God. As part of his response, my colleague read to him from the Bible about Noah and the flood. The neighbour listened intently, and replied, "Yeah, this is great, but” (returning to the big stumbling block) “SON OF GOD? That's just not right!" This sort of internal tug-of-war, my colleague commented with delight, is a sure sign that someone is being convicted by the Holy Spirit!

I was encouraged to hear all of this. I was encouraged by the reminder of what God can accomplish in people’s hearts in a mere two days. Not that any of us should be surprised who know the Easter story of how God in merely three days brought the offer of salvation to the whole world!

So let’s continue to make our plans year by year - there’s wisdom and prudence there. But let’s remember that God’s real business, the business that matters eternally, is done, through faith in Jesus Christ, in people’s hearts, one person at a time, one day at a time. It’s that process that’s the essential starting point for the transformation of individual lives, of human society, and of the world. So here are a couple of good questions for each of us. In what way have you encountered God today, and in what way will you seek to help someone else encounter Him tomorrow?

Rob Thomas

© 2018 Trowbridge St James'