Ministers Letter – February 2011

Rev. Ray Coates

My Dear Friends,

The service was over and coffee followed. On this day too there was a Church Lunch to look forward to which we knew would be excellent so that by the time we eventually left the building it was after two o’clock. There were tasks still to be done – this letter to write was one of them. But I was tired! Perhaps it was age, or perhaps the accumulation of years of work that at times could be quite draining. Perhaps it was waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to drop off again easily.

I really shouldn’t be surprised because all of us at times feel like that and Jesus did as well. So thank goodness for the resources that he gives, the food for the journey that comes in different ways…
“with these holy gifts [of bread and wine] you have fed and strengthened us”.
My immediate neighbour had talked of bird watching and we had commented on various sites, many of which like Fairburn Ings involved water. Something very therapeutic about water, we agreed. I thought of the 23rd Psalm – “He leads me beside still waters, he restores my soul.” It is true….
There some books to be dropped off for someone, but after that a coffee break with the day’s papers. Part-work but also part-renewal. The stopping, the ceasing from being Action Man or Action Woman.

Back home and a bit more of that book I’m reading about Thomas Merton – he knew the value of quiet contemplation. I can certainly learn from him.
Even then, before this letter began to flow from the computer keys, there was time wandering through a labyrinth with sweet music playing. The labyrinth is on the computer on the Methodist website and I’ve visited it before, and it always helps.

So now I’m writing the letter, mentally thanking God for the resources he provides. We don’t all have a computer! Sometimes we may feel we have so much to do that we haven’t the time.
I knew I needed these things and none of us should feel guilty about pausing – we return to the task refreshed hopefully and better able to tackle it.
But the only justification I need is to look at Jesus and say, “If Jesus needed such moments and times, how much more do I.”

Take just a little time, and may God bless you as you journey through the year.

With much love,
Your Minister and friend,