February ’20 Parish Magazine

Dear Friends and Parishioners 

As I prepare to write to you this month, uppermost in my mind is how blessed I am. God has called me to minister in a beautiful place, with supportive congregations, a comfortable home and a loving family. Although things are not always ‘plain sailing’ my life is good, as we are told in Genesis 1 God intended it to be. One way or another God provides all that I truly need with extra blessings besides. 

This is the state of affairs God wants for every person. I have not been singled out for special treatment! God, our loving creator fashioned us into being and breathed life into us, therefore, we carry the divine spark deep inside us. This means we have the capacity to recognise and response to God’s will for us. When we seek the divine within us and respond to it, then our hearts and minds are opened to the wonders God provides for us throughout each and every day: nature in all its changing glory; the benefits of technology and science; the variety and depth of our culture and heritage; the richness of language -spoken or written; abundance of food……… With the eyes of faith the list of blessings is endless and that is before we remember that we have Jesus to teach and guide us, the Holy Spirit to accompany us so we are never alone and the family of the Church as a physical presence reflecting God’s loving care. 

How then can we not feel blessed? One of the main gifts God bestowed upon humanity was that of freewill, the ability to choose for ourselves whether to respond to God or whether to reject that divine spark that lies in the depth of our being. If we reject or forget God then life can indeed look very different; the natural world becomes a place to be used for personal gain; scientific advances can become vehicles of power and domination; culture and heritage can build barriers between people; language can wound and belittle; and the food we eat can become a symbol of our wealth and privilege. 

Izaak Walton wrote ‘Blessings, we enjoy daily. And for most of them, because they are so common, most men forget to pay their praises.’ Let us not fall into that trap of taking God’s providence for granted. When we offer our praises and thanks – giving to God for all that is good in our lives we not only give God rightful glory but we remind ourselves of how blessed we are, raising our spirits along with our prayers. Why not begin or end each day by making a list of all the ways you have been blessed? I am sure you will discover you make very long lists! 

Prayers and best wishes, 

Canon Janice