Hello everyone! Yesterday and today I have done a bit of tidying up in the garden, as we are still enjoying fine weather. Yesterday we had lovely warm sunshine; something I had almost forgotten existed! As the lady I usually took to church was on holiday, I walked to church this morning enjoying the welcome sunshine and blue sky.
I was asked to light the peace candle and say a prayer for peace, before the service began. I tried to light the candle with a lighter, but only succeeded in burning my finger! I felt very silly, but fortunately Jane, the minister’s wife, pointed out there were matches there, so at last I could light the candle. The service was well led by the local preacher, Andrew Johnson, who is also the deputy head of a secondary school. He spoke very well clearly and well. We sang a good rousing opening hymn and the preacher challenged the congregation for not looking joyful when singing, except me! I felt embarrassed as I just enjoy singing the hymns and praising God and often move to the music. I felt self conscious after that and not quite my usual self as I sang the hymns. Others afterwards had felt guilty about not looking happy as they sang, which made them more self conscious. For the children’s address he brought down a glass full of water and asked the children how they would describe it. One said that it was almost full, a very accurate description of its contents! The child continued to say that it was half full, when he had drunk half of it! The preacher then went on to concentrate on being joyful in the Lord, no matter what happens. He talked of the credit crunch, the collapse of the bank, and how so many have lost their jobs, yet how do such matters compare with the victims of suicide bombers, as in Pakistan, victims of war, famine or Aids. He wanted us to count our blessings. He described the complaining of the children of Israel in the wilderness when they had no food, food was provided as manna and quails. They forgot how bad it had been in Egypt and complained instead of being thankful that they were free. The parable of the vineyard showed how those workers who had been hired at the beginning of the day were paid the same as those who had only worked one hour, so the workers who had worked all day expected more, but they had been promised the amount they received. They grumbled not because they had got what was promised but that they had not got more; it was not fair! Paul in prison wrote to the Philippians expressing joy despite his situation. Let us be content in all we have and live life to the full now. This is the day that the Lord has made and I rejoice and am glad it.