As we come to the close of another wet and windy August Bank Holiday our thoughts in Methodism turn to the start of the Methodist New Year which always begins in September, and my sabbatical seems a distant memory.
I have been reading recently about house building!! Don’t worry I don’t intend to do anything radical to the Manse. Apparently when a house is built there is an outer wall and an inner wall. That may not be a surprise to you, as it wasn’t to me, but what I hadn’t realised was that at various places the two walls are joined by small, twisted pieces of metal. Known as ties these small almost insignificant pieces of metal hold the two walls together. As I return from my sabbatical and as we embark upon a new year I am very conscious about what `ties` me into this circuit and area. It is the small relationships, the mutual sharing together, the smiles, the tears, the frustrations and the joys. These are the ties that bind me with those I am called to serve. And they are precious connections. To them I could (and so could you) add my family, wider circle of friends, and those people we meet occasionally who we might not even know by name. Why am I telling you this? Well, apparently the ties holding the two walls together are there for a purpose and that purpose is so that each wall can `gain strength` from the other. It’s the same with our ties with other people. We are called to support, encourage and strengthen each other.
Take time to re-read 1 Corinthians chapter 12 which speaks of many parts to the one body, look closely at chapter 13 which reminds us of love and then read chapter 14 verse 1 which says “It is love which you should strive for.” The ties that bind us together are the ties of love; Christ’s love holding us together. Let us rejoice in that love and seek to build each other up.
As this circuit enters its third year together, I`m aware that we are gradually getting closer and closer to each other; I find fewer people are harking back to the former circuits, but more and more are speaking of `Trent and Dove` and I hope and pray that we can continue this year in that growing together; Lets pray for each other (every Sunday I pray through the preaching plan), for the work of each Chapel, the Circuit, the District and the Connexion and lets pray for it all with a passionate love for each other.
(The picture is of a painting in the Church, I support in Poiana, Romania. It is one of my favourite pictures-Gods love in action)
Happy New Year