A very warm greeting from me following this summer, whether you went away or you stayed local.
I wonder if the summer can seem more different for Christians than for others, as alongside the regular stuff we might do like going away or simply taking a bit of time off work, regular church activity can seem to wind down to a degree and Christian camps or trips can be on people’s timetables.
My summer has been a mix of frustrating illness and blessing, and my hope is that all of you have felt something of the latter, whatever your circumstances.
In my end-of-term assembly at TG Samworth Academy back in July, we looked at the story of Jonah, and I pointed out what Jonah says when he runs away from God by getting on a ship going in the other direction from where God wants him to go.
He explains himself to the sailors this way: ‘I am a Hebrew, and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land’ (Jonah 1:9 NIV).
Hang on a minute Jonah – if you know God is the God of land and sea, then why are you trying to get away from him on a boat?
It might seem funny, but there is real truth behind this – God is inescapable, everywhere, all-seeing, all knowing.
To some that might seem scary, but for those of us who belong to Jesus it is actually wonderful because God’s constant presence goes hand-in-hand with God’s constant love.
Whether we’re home or away, sick or well, busy or resting, hear Paul’s words: ‘For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 8:38-39 NIV).
Rev Chris Collins