All Saints

Wickham Market

June 2024

June 2nd

So we are facing another General Election; six weeks of campaigning, political broadcasts and promises which may or may not be kept.  Some of us are a bit cynical about the government parties involved and we wonder whether anything will ever be any different - will a different party be able to improve things for our country or for us as individuals?  Some of us even wonder at the point of voting at all - is my one small vote going to achieve anything?

But of course we should value our vote and appreciate that we live in a Democracy where we have a voice, because all of our ‘one small votes’ add up to something bigger and ultimately something huge!  Our one small vote does have the power to change things and to make a difference!

“Do not despise small beginnings” is a lesson the Bible teaches us - all big things come from small beginnings.  God rejoices to see small beginnings.  Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed is one of the Bible lessons that shows us how the biggest things grow out of the tiniest seed, the most insignificant start. Confucius said:  “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”

One word, one kind act, one step in the right direction, one vote, one prayer.  If we want our world to change, or our country to change or even just our own situations to change, we have to believe in the power of small beginnings.

 

June 9th

 

What’s your treasure?

For some people that may be an easy question to answer - “it’s my wife”, or “it’s my mother’s wedding ring”, or “it’s my classic Ford Capri Mk1 2000 GT”.  Maybe it’s a moment in time, like the birth of a child or some other treasured memory.  Usually it’s something that is totally irreplaceable but not necessarily of great value.  I like to watch the antiques Roadshow and it’s interesting to see how the revealing of the monetary value of an item often makes little difference to the owner.

But what about those things we treasure that do have a high value?  Do we fear their loss or their damage?  Or perhaps we’re just very proud and love to show it off to everyone.

What about the things we long to possess but the cost prohibits it?  Does it become an all-obsessive must-have? “I’d do anything to have one of those”. 

Your treasure could even be a concept, a principle or an opinion you refuse to let go of!

Our treasures certainly prompt a whole range of emotions in us don’t they?

Jesus likens the Kingdom of Heaven to a great treasure.  It is of such value that we want to tell everyone about it.  It is incomparable, one of a kind and we would do anything, sell anything, to possess it.

Well the good news is, we can all have it!  It is free, everlasting and it cannot ever be damaged or lost.  You don’t even need to give up your other treasures in order to possess it, although you may find they don’t hold the same place in your heart as they once did!

Why not come along on Sunday and learn more about the great Treasure of Heaven!

 

June 16th

I have had dogs most of my life and have experienced varying degrees of success with their training.

The dogs I currently have are clever, independent and strong willed.  Achieving consistent obedience has been quite a challenge!  Of course they know the commands, they know what is expected of them but it might just depend on their mood at the time! 

Over the years a lot of hard work has gone into probably the most crucial of all the commands - the recall.  We need our dogs to come back when we call.  But the trouble is, that chase or that sniff or that other dog/cyclist/jogger seems much more exciting than obeying commands right now!

I’ve noticed recently however that there is some notable improvement in this direction and it’s come about not from more intense training (I’d just about given up!) or even tastier treats as bribes but I think it is just that time has built better and closer relationships - we love each other more!  They want to please, they want to walk closely alongside out of loyalty.  I had given up thinking they would ever be well behaved and had just settled with loving them.

This got me thinking about Jesus’ parable of the lost or wandering sheep; Jesus wants me to respond to his call but sometimes other stuff pulls me in the opposite direction. However it’s not his promise of Heavenly treats, nor the threat of judgement, nor the continual drumming in of commandments that makes me want to come to Jesus and walk closely at his side, rather it is his overwhelming love and kindness and companionship that brings me to him and keeps me with him even though I must have seemed like a lost cause

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