Letter from our Minister - November 2019

by Pannal Methodist Church
Posted at 15:47pm on 18th November 2019
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Dear friends

 

‘And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.’ (Col 3:17)

 

One of the things we encourage our children to do as they grow up is to see the possibilities of life.  I remember being told very clearly as a child that there’s no such word as “can’t”!  And yet children are so often open-minded to all that they could do, often not seeing the pitfalls.  Parenting is often about keeping safe whilst encouraging to thrive.  With all this in mind I have a question - what happens to us when we become adults?!

 

I remember a few years ago Catherine and I visiting Alton Towers.  Having been at University in Stoke-on-Trent in our late teens/early twenties, Alton Towers was a must visit.  Over the years we have spent many happy days there being thrown around in various rollercoasters, including the time when we went and it rained in the early afternoon so the park emptied but the rides kept going so we ended up going on Nemesis (without any queue) about nine times in a row!  All these visits we’ve looked at the gardens and wondered who on earth would want to visit them!  On our last visit after about one or two rides the garden was suddenly becoming inviting!

 

One of our chaplains at University had a contretemps with another student who was arguing with her about something.  He kept saying “yes but”, “yes but” to which our chaplain friend responded eventually “yes but nothing!”.  It is so easy to get into the mindset of ‘yes but’.  Our lives become comfortable and we settle.  It is one of the reasons why Hugh Bourne and William Clowes (yes a probable ancestor!) got fed up with the Wesleyan Methodists in the early 1800s who had become very middle class and comfortable and went outside preaching again in their Camp Meetings at Mow Cop in Cheshire. 

 

It is very easy to become comfortable and complacent in our Christian lives and it is a dangerous place to be.  In recent weeks we have been sharing in BibleMonth on the book of Colossians and in chapter 3 we’re reminded of the need to claim our new life in Christ.  This is more than just the conversion moment but a new way of living.  This begins with us changing the answer to the question from “yes but” to “yes but God!” and realising that with God anything is possible, in our own lives, our families and in our church.  It may seem that this is a big ask but maybe it’s time for us all to re-evaluate who we are in Christ and choose the option that says to all the things we say we cannot do because ‘we’re tired/we’ve tried it before/there’s not enough of us/we’ve no children at church/we’re all getting older’ that simply say “yes, but God!”

 

Yours in Christ

 

Ben