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Minister's message

Minister's Message



Minister’s message





I write this shortly after the service to give thanks for Janet Evans, as she retires from her time at Ash Grove. Janet has been a great, personal friend to me, and it is going to be strange not seeing Janet there when I pop in to catch up with residents or to see what’s going on with Mark and Janet’s replacement, Marie. What I can’t quite get my head round is that Neil, Roger and Ernest all before me all had exactly the same experience –knowing Janet as the lynch-pin behind everything that has been going on there. What a testimony to such an incredible lady.

I’m reminded of that passage in Ecclesiastes 3 which tells us that ‘there is a time for everything’. As Janet enters a new chapter for her, so do we.

And all of us have many chapters or phases, where one closes and another begins. I look at our family life. Rachel is ending the chapter of her time training, and with it, another chapter begins with her new job. As Matthew and Charlotte conclude the chapters of Year 4 and 2 respectively, so Years 5 and 3 open later in the year. At the end of this academic year, I am looking forward to my own mini-chapter: a couple of weeks rest in the Summer with family and friends.

But the author of Ecclesiastes is keen to remind us that just with chapters in our own story, so there is an author: a faithful constant throughout. Ecclesiastes 3:14-15 says ‘I know that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done this, so that all should stand in awe of Him. That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already is; and God seeks out what has gone by.’

In other words, with God, it’s already done. Our life is complete. The future is certain and clear, because it is with God. God is faithful and God is true. Throughout all our chapters of life, God walks through them with us. And He is the architect of everything – the perfect, loving, faithful God, who shows that it’s all certain and clear because in Christ Jesus, we have a future which is guaranteed to be certain and clear.

And so, whatever chapter you find yourself in right now, be reminded of the faithfulness of the loving author, our Father God, and the certainty of our future. And let us give thanks for companions on our journey.

Be blessed this Summer whatever you do.