St James The Great
Old Milverton, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
09/07/2020 Christian Message from Rev. Sue
Dear St James
The last Sunday of this month would have been our Patronal Festival and William has put together a special service for us which will go out on St Mary Magdalene’s website on the Sunday afternoon (26th) at 4.30pm. As with all his services, you just have to go their website – www.lillingtonparishchurch.org and click on ‘live streaming on the left hand side to join in.
A couple of ‘on this day’ things for you: in 1964 on the 6th July, Malawi gained independence from the UK. That means the two young students we are supporting through school will be only about the third generation of young adults in their new country – for me that makes it all the more important to help them gain a good education that will benefit not just them individually but their young country too.
Still on the subject of education, this week in 2011 Malala Yousafzai addressed the United Nations, calling for universal access to education. She said ‘one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world’. I think she’s one of a handful of inspirational young people who just might help to change our world for the better.
Have a good week and stay safe whatever you’re doing.
Reflection on Matthew 13.1-9, 18-23: The Parable of the Sower and the Seed
This is such a familiar parable about listening to God’s word and yet, precisely because it’s so familiar, we may not really stop to listen to what it’s saying to us.
Normally, we live in a noisy, busy world with many different sounds, ideas and thoughts competing for our attention. But not this year. For the last four months, the world has been quieter. We’ve been out less; the background noise of traffic and industry has slowed down and the natural sounds of our world have become much more audible. If, like me, you live on your own, then conversation has become much more limited too.
So it might be quieter, but are we listening to God any more successfully? I suspect the question that follows on from that is, are you making any space in your new daily routine to allow God to come and speak to you? Personally, one of the bonuses of these past weeks has been finding it so much easier to stop each day to read my bible and pray without the pressure of a diary commitment to get in the way. But I still don’t find it easy to focus on what I’m reading or praying about without the distraction of other thoughts popping into my head at annoyingly frequent intervals!
Why not find time this week to really think about what kind of soil you are at the moment, and what you might do to become ‘good soil’. To be that ‘good soil’ we need both to give God the space to speak to us and also to be ready to truly listen to what he has to say because it’s only when we listen from the heart that we really hear what’s being said. That applies just as much to our everyday lives as to our relationship with God.
Life is beginning to open up again – just a little – for many of us. Before the world crashes back in let’s resolve to keep a space for God each day where we can share what we are doing with him and listen to what he has to say to us in return.
Lord, help me to be still and know your presence with me.
Teach me to listen in love to the world around me and to respond to the needs of others.
Lord, teach me to hear the silence my own heart
that I may listen to the gentle movement of the Holy Spirit within me
and sense the depths which are of God.
Lord, make me good soil in which the fruits of your spirit can grow and flourish.
Opening the church for private prayer - Please be aware that, at the moment, St James remains closed. We are working on plans to open the building, but we have contractors in and around the church at the moment which will affect what we can safely do. As soon as we have some definite news we will let you know.