A Vicar Writes: February 2017

As I write, I’m sat at my desk waiting for the snow to fall! It’s the middle of January and the weather reports for the last 4 days have been warning everyone about the forthcoming heavy snowfall, warning everyone to ensure they have things ready, to make sure the car has essentials in it, to only travel if you need to etc etc.  (as yet, there doesn’t appear to be any sign of it happening, its just an ordinary wet day in January – after all it is winter!!!)

The point is the weather forecasters are giving us notice, they are using the skills and the knowledge they have to inform us of what lies ahead. (Although personally, I do think they often dramatize things far too much these days). They are, in effect, trying to predict the future. Now forecasting the weather is a science that can be done with some level of accuracy, but predicting the future is something we can’t do! Only God knows the future – however we can prepare for whatever the future may throw at us (and I don’t mean panic buying tins of beans!!).

So how can we prepare? Firstly, Jesus says in Matthew 6:34 ‘Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself’. In a sense, Jesus is inviting us to live in the now, to make the most of the present moment, the Latin term is ‘Carpe Diem’ meaning ‘seize the day’. While this may sound simplistic, there is something very deep within it. To truly make the most of every opportunity, to fully enjoy the here and now means that we need to be free of those things that trouble us or hold us back. Those things that weigh us down; troubles, burdens or guilts that we may have carried for years. In order to be free from them we need to have somewhere to place them.

This is the first amazing act that can prepare us for the future, Jesus invites us to give our worries/troubles to him. ‘Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest’ (Matt 11:28). There is something incredible about leaving all our concerns at the foot of the cross. Simply knowing that God’s love is enough, to rest a while in his love and to know that with him all things are possible.

This act of relinquishing enables us to then live in the light of Christ. To make the most of every opportunity. Jesus says, ‘I have come that you may have life and have it to the full’ (John 10:10) only when we have experienced God’s love are we able to fully live life to the full. To accept God’s love, means to accept Jesus as your Lord and saviour, to be forgiven, accepted and saved by him! And once you accept the truth of this, you can truly start living  – why? Because your eternal salvation has already begun. Its not something that begins when we die, it starts in the here and now. When the Spirit of Jesus lives in us, our eternal life is assured.

That’s the only way we can ‘predict’ the future. You see, I can say with certainty ‘I know I’m going to heaven’- What about you? As the old hymn suggests ‘It is well with my soul’ – what about yours? Why not ask the Lord into your life today, you see when the true knowledge of this is grasped, suddenly we begin to look at things in a different way. Tomorrow is something to look forward to, not to fear, for whatever it may throw at us, we walk through it with God to guide and sustain us and whatever happens our future is assured.

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