I am celebrating a big birthday a week on Tuesday and whenever we have a birthday with a zero on the end, I think it is a time of nostalgia and reflection. I think back over my other significant birthdays as times of real joy; a surprise trip to see “Take That” at Aston Villa’s ground for my 50th, a wonderful party for family and friends thrown by my oldest friend when I was forty and because I was pregnant with my second child on my thirtieth rather more subdued celebrations. And this year, after all the separation from those we love and hold dear, we hope to have a joint big birthday party in our new manse garden. What a reunion that promises to be!!!
As we look back over our life’s journey and its many twists and turns hindsight is a wonderful thing. What the world calls “sliding door” moments, as Christians we recognise God’s hand on our lives guiding and challenging us along the way. Things and situations we didn’t understand at the time now become much clearer as the years pass, along with the realisation that this side of heaven we only ever see “in a mirror dimly”. And we remember the wonderful promise of Jesus that he would be with us always.
As an itinerant minister who potentially has to move every five years there have been many summers of saying goodbye. However many times I go through it, things never get easier, and there is always a time of bereavement associated with any move. This summer we are saying goodbye to Novette our Circuit Superintendent and Marilyn our Circuit Administrator and we sincerely thank them both for all their hard work for the Leicester West Circuit. But we are also welcoming new staff to join the team and look forward enormously to working alongside Justin Moulder, our new Mission Enabler and Annabel as our Circuit Administrator. We pray for all in new roles within the Circuit team.
So, as well as reminiscing about good times past, we look forward in God’s grace to what might be to come and the many ways God will guide and guard us in the coming weeks of the summer. Whether you are managing to get away this year or continuing to stay at home, I do pray God’s blessing to be with you and yours.