Ministers Letter – October 2010

Rev. Ray Coates

Dear friends,

As I write this I’m preparing to go to the wedding in Edinburgh of Joy’s god-daughter. After the wedding we shall stay at Berwick on Tweed and on the Sunday drive on down to South Shields to watch our son and daughter take part in the Great North Run.

I was looking forward to seeing them among thousands of others running for charity until I went on the internet to look at the weather forecast. It gives heavy rain as the order of the day! It won’t stop them taking part – they did the London 10Km race a few years back in the wet. But watching won’t be much fun. In fact, if we had just been going for the day to enjoy the atmosphere we would probably have decided to head back home and watch it on TV. But when it’s your children, you do anything for them, even such daft things as standing in the pouring rain for hours!

We’ve all heard of fair-weather friends, those who are there with you when all is well but suddenly disappear into thin air when the going gets tough. There’s more than one occasion in the story of Jesus when people enthusiastically talk of following him, but as soon as he says they’ll often not have a bed indoors every night and paints a realistic picture of what it might be like (not easy at times) following him, their keenness soon cools!

Commitment, loyalty and faithfulness are things that Jesus looks for and which we hope to find too in friends and in people in general. The sort who are always there for us are precious indeed and perhaps also offer a challenge to us. Which are you – a fair-weather friend, or a friend indeed?

Rain or shine, we’ll be there at the Great North Run!

With much love,