Hello everyone! On Saturday August 11th one of our doctors invited all of us to a brunch, so that we could meet the new doctors joining our practice in an informal way. I was thrilled that my beloved was able to come too, as I love to share experience with him. We have a new GP partner joining our practice in the middle of October, although she is already working with us one day a week, so she can get used to our patients and how our practice works. It was good to meet her husband too. We also have a new salaried GP who will start in the middle of September also has an interest in palliative medicine, working at a hospice one day a week. She has done one day, but not when I work, so I was really pleased to meet her and her husband. My beloved enjoyed socialising as he really misses meeting people.
I led the service at Harlow Hill with Fred Thompson on the theme of the bread of life and how Jesus meets our physical needs as he did with the feeding of the 5000, but more importantly he meets our spiritual needs. Elijah was exhausted and disheartened after he had shown that Yahweh was the one true God at the demonstration at Mount Carmel. When his life was threatened he ran away into the desert and wishing he could die, fell asleep. An angel woke him and gave him a loaf of bread and water and he went to sleep again. When he awoke a second time he ate the food and drink supplied and sustained, he was able to travel for 40 days and nights to Mount Sinai where Moses had met with God. God knew he had needed rest and sustenance to restore him enough for the journey; his physical needs were met first and there God would restore his faith. God knows our needs and he meets them. It is not God’s will that anyone should be hungry as the gospel is not a substitute for meeting the material needs. The continuing hunger and poverty in the world are the signs of our mismanagement of the resources God has given us. The poor rebuked the rich as they remind the rich that no one is truly rich while anyone is truly poor.
Jesus came to reveal the true nature of God and open up a new relationship for us with God. The Jewish leaders criticised Jesus for his claims of coming from God. How could he say he was from God; they knew his parents and that they had seen him growing up in Nazareth? They heard what Jesus said but did not really listen to what he said. They never thought of asking God what He thought about Jesus or what He wanted them to do. Are we so different? Do we really listen to what God tells us to do? Are we ready to be challenged and changed or do we prefer to follow our own set ways? An old song says exactly what is important: What you are speaks so loud that the world can’t hear what you say; they’re looking at your walk, not listening to your talk; they’re judging from your actions every day.
How can we serve others as Jesus did? Not in our own strength for sure, as we are prone to failure, but as we grow closer to our Lord and Saviour, walking each day with him, we can be changed gradually into his likeness so that we reflect his love and acceptance to a needy world. We can stand up for the vulnerable and broken of our society and others, meeting their material needs but fighting to give them hope instead of despair and a future. Only the disciples could distribute the loaves and fishes and only we can make a difference to the world and fight for justice and an end to exploitation and let us do just that!!
After the service I went home to collect my beloved and take him to our chapel for the faith lunch we were sharing with members of the church to say farewell to our minister Tim Boocock, who had taken his final service at our chapel, which I unfortunately missed as I was taking the service. It was great to have my beloved with me again, and to say a personal goodbye to Tim. It was a busy weekend for us both.