Greetings from Rev Richard,
As you probably know I spent the first 66 years of my life living in West London, Ealing to be precise. It was a very happy time in which I grew up, married Maureen and had 4 children. I worked at The Town Hall designing roads etc for Housing Estates, was a member of The Boys’ Brigade all that time (boy through to Leader), served God in a variety of ways in The Church and then was ordained in 1986.
All in all a very happy period. I retired to live here in Charing in 2005 and started a new life, where I continued to serve the Lord I love.
One of the things about living in the country that has been very obvious to me is the beauty of God’s creation. Not so obvious in London! Just this week the beautiful brown corn fields are being harvested – a sight one never sees in London! Or driving along the winding country lanes and noticing the wonderful array of ever changing wild flowers in the hedgerows. And of course all around here are those old buildings thankfully listed or maintained by English Heritage, etc.
God is so good ! And we are very blessed to be able to notice all that is around us. All these gifts that we so often take for granted.
Very soon we shall be preparing for, dare I say it ? Christmas !!
Only last week I saw a poster “Book early for C—–” The shops will soon be laying out their Christmas wares and encouraging us to start shopping.
But what about us ? For some, Christmas is lonely or challenging as well as for many a very happy time. As I compare the beauty all around us with the wonder of Christmas, God’s greatest gift of all time – I can’t but reflect on “JTS “ What’s that – you probably ask. JTS is short hand for a verse in The Bible. John 3;16. (ie. the first letter of each word). Jackie Wills made me a banner and a photo of it is on the Charing Parish Magazine. It is my favourite verse: Have you seen those she made and hang in the Methodist Church?
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only
Son, that whoever believes in Him shall never perish but have
God created the world we read in Genesis; “And it was good” ! We can certainly agree with that. It was so good that God added the safety net of sending His Son to be “Its Saviour”
So as we prepare for Christmas and reflect on the beauty around us, let us complete the reflection by seeking to understand JTS, that great gift and the life line offered to us all.
God Bless you