At last it has happened! Spring has come! Perhaps you can guess this by the way you feel the evenings grow lighter (OK), or by discovering your first snowdrop (well, yes), or by spotting lambs in the fields (nice!), or feeling the weather grow warmer (oh, really?), or by simply consulting the calendar (the short answer!), but for me it is when the birds start singing again.
Whatever way you choose, Spring is the season of new life, and, for Christians, new life in the risen Christ. So, Happy Spring, and Happy Easter!
Do you know what is going on in Sunday School these days? Changes are taking place nationally in the religious education of the young. Terms such as ‘Messy Church’, ‘Godly Play’ and the quaintly-named ‘Bubble Gum and Fluff’ are being used to describe a shift in emphasis to child-centered activities. This helps children to discover religion for themselves. Like you, I’m not too clear about what this means but one result of the changes seems to be that the young people appear to enjoy learning about God more than perhaps we did in our time and that can only be a good thing, don’t you think?
‘Quotations Corner’ gives me the opportunity to share thoughts with you which are better expressed than I could ever hope to do.
“Fasting for Lent could mean visiting someone housebound, unable to leave because of stairs - a much more valuable way of living out our faith than depriving ourselves of treats.”
“I tell you the truth. Whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
“Today children are fed on a diet of celebrities instead of heroes and heroines such as David Livingstone or Florence Nightingale. The wonderful thing is that they started life as ordinary boys and girls.”
“In dealing with cases of fatigue and severe depression, it is so much more helpful, sympathetic, and encouraging if we simply listen and seek to accept what others are going through.”
“I am persuaded that behind the mystery and, at times, awful pain there is One who is not untouched by human suffering, who suffers with us in our suffering.”
The picture this month in my charity calendar is of three African children smiling because for the first time they have just had a clean-water plant installed in their village. It is remarkable how a simple thing like that can bring such joy into the world.
Here, to end with, is a prayer taken from the newsletter of the World Mission Council.
“God, you believe in us even when we doubt. Through
your eyes we see the love you have for each person.
We see their important place in your kingdom.
Give us faith in you, hearts that long for change, and hands
that are willing to be your change.”