Traditionally as the summer arrives things begin to wind down for the holiday season, but for St Cuthbert’s this is never usually the case. Summer is the season of weddings and this year has proved to be of no exception. It is with great thanks that we have been
able to continue our ministry to the couples of our parish through the help and support of our retired and supporting clergy this summer. We have also been busy at St Cuthbert’s with the repair and restoration of the wall and Lychgate ( an important feature of any bride’s wedding day photos).
But it wont be long before the children are back at school and the new term begins. We will again slowly move though our church calendar into a season of making new vows for ourselves and again commit ourselves to the service of Christ and each other. In November we will be hosting the Archbishop of York who will be confirming members of our own church family, please pray for those who will be being confirmed and for those who are contemplating it and taking part in the confirmation course in the lead up to the service.
Having my roots in the Methodist church one of my favourite times of year was September and the annual covenant service that would take place. This service was a moment to reflect and recommit ourselves to where ever God is calling us. Much like a wedding service of making vows publicly before God and his people.
I have always been struck by the simple prayer from the covenant service that puts God before all of our own hopes, dreams and plans for the future. Someone once told me “If you want to make God laugh tell him your plans for the future!” It is not because he is mean and does not want us to be fulfilled but rather I believe he sees far more potential in us than we ever really see in ourselves. We only need to look at the famous characters in the bible to see that God’s plans far outweigh what his people thought they could achieve. Abraham thought he was too old, Joseph was in prison, Gideon was scared, Elijah was depressed, Jonah ran from God, Peter denied Christ, Martha worried about everything, and Lazarus was dead!
The future is as bright as the promises of God, and his promise is “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.
So as we continue to grow together let us again commit ourselves to Christ as he commits himself to us. I leave you with the words of the Methodist covenant prayer to think and pray though.
I am no longer my own but yours. Put me to what you will,
rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing,
put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you
or laid aside for you,
exalted for you
or brought low for you;
let me be full,
let me be empty,
let me have all things,
let me have nothing;
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours.
So be it.
And the covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.
Grace and Peace