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A rural Circuit, Banbury has fifteen churches, five based in the town itself.
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'… where does my help come from?' Psalm 121:1b
We have just celebrated what I call the 'anniversary season', there have been Church anniversaries galore. This is a wonderful time for celebrating God's work in His church and for giving thanks for His help and guidance.
Award ceremonies and the end of sporting seasons also offer the opportunity to give thanks and to celebrate their 'winners'. As you will know such events undoubtedly find recipients of an award recalling everyone who has helped them to get to the situation they now find themselves in; acclaimed actors or athletes. Drama or music teachers are recalled along with script writers, producers, directors and of course family, each one is then thanked. In team sport, managers, coaches and directors are thanked for encouraging a team spirit and so enabling a successful season.
As this Methodist year starts to come to end, and this season finishes I would like to offer my thanks to you all. Thank you, all of you for your help over this last year. Together, with God, we have had a good year. Unlike award situations, whereby thanks are directed at a certain few, in God's work; the mission of the church, all need to be thanked. His work is a joint effort. So thank you for all that you have done, for your patience and kindness, for pulling together in your individual chapels. More importantly though, Thank you for relying on God's help.
Over this last year I have read the words from Psalm 121 many times and related them to the people who have died; for indeed their lifelong help came from the Lord. God is good and has been very good to us this last year.
It has been suggested that the speaker of the first two verses in this Psalm is a pilgrim either setting out on, or returning home from a pilgrimage. The words addressed to him would be a blessing. We hear that God protects the pilgrim who is intent on offering worship, who puts trust in Him. So, journeying with God in God's presence and through our worship of Him, we too will be blessed. The words in this Psalm give words of reassurance, telling us that God is always available, that he does not sleep; God's protection is continual, by day and by night. Our help comes from the Lord.
TV, Film, Music and Sporting award winners put their trust in their captain, manager or director and this person can change season by season, film by film, or programme to programme, this is a 'time limited trust'. Being followers of Jesus, we know that the trust we put in Him is not limited to time or any boundaries that we care to set, it is timeless and limitless.
For us, this last year may have been difficult or exciting, a time for stabilising work, or a time for opening up opportunities. Whatever your thoughts of this last year, one thing is for sure, God has been present with us all. We have put our trust in him and we will continue to do so forever more.
And awards or rewards, well there are no medals or ornaments for the mantelpiece, but the fruits of our labours can be seen on the faces and in the lives of those we have worked with. This is what our anniversaries were rejoicing. Surely, we don't need anything more than that!
May the Lord watch over you, both now and evermore.
With every blessing,
Marlborough Road -
Every Thursday 10.00 am Coffee Morning and 11.00 Circuit Communion
Every Friday 10.30 -
1st Saturday of the month 10.00 -
List of books in the Circuit Library, kept in the Marlborough Road vestry.