My late wife, Pam, very much enjoyed listening to Don Williams sing country music, one of her favourites being “The Rose” – though I slightly prefer Nana Mouskouri’s version. No matter; it is Bette Midler‘s words and sentiments that are so powerful. The last verse goes:
“When the nights have been so lonely
And the road has been too long;
And when you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong;
Then remember, in the winter,
Far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, which, with the sun’s love,
In the spring becomes the rose.”
As we wait with bated breath for Boris to reveal his roadmap out of “lock-down”, cautiously and prudently easing restrictions in the light of decreasing infection rates and a widespread vaccination programme, it might be worth reflecting a little on the last year and conclude that indeed “the road has been too long”. We have learned that we can no longer take for granted such things as sharing a drink or a meal with friends and hugging our loved ones, worship in church (even having a vicar!), our work and security, education, health, even life itself. And yet we have also been able to appreciate the cleaner air, the quieter environment, the cycle of the seasons, sunshine, rain and snow, birds and butterflies, trees and flowers, and, as spring approaches and colour begins to return to the world, snowdrops, crocuses and even daffodils. In other words, in all the isolation, change and uncertainty, God remains faithful and unchanging.
During Lent, through reflection, self-examination, repentance and prayer, we prepare ourselves for Good Friday and Easter, and look forward to celebrating God’s greatest demonstration of His boundless love for us, the sacrifice of His only son for our salvation. Jesus died for us, rose from the dead and was raised to glory, thereby conquering sin and death. So, whatever Boris decrees today and whatever lies in store for us, we have the assured hope and promise of Christ’s eternal presence with us by the power of the Holy Spirit; His love, guidance, comfort, peace and joy.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord” (Romans 8. 28).
Les Neil’s Funeral
Les Neil’s cremation takes place this Friday, 26th February, at 1pm at Canley Crematorium strictly by invite only due to restrictions. The family will be leaving from 70 Sutton Avenue at around 12.40pm. The funeral can be viewed by link remotely for family and friends unable to attend. If you would like to view the service online please contact Les’s daughter, Vanessa, for the link. Her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Building Our Faith – Wednesday Evening Bible Study in Lent
As we start the season of Lent why not join our weekly Bible study group on Wednesday evenings. For five weeks starting on Wednesday 24th February, we will be meeting on zoom to look at The Prayers of Jesus. Each week we look at a different prayer and there will be time for discussion and questions.
Come to as many as you can we would love you to join us.
If you are interested and have questions, or you need more information please contact me.
Sue Masters, 07958 322026
To donate to Central foodbank, Sue Barnes is coordinating this so please contact her to drop off food at her house. Contact Sue at email@example.com
If you are unable to give food you can also donate online here: https://www.trusselltrust.org/rddonate-checkout/
Please pray for Jim Finlay who is currently in hospital and for St Andrew’s as meetings take place which begin the process of finding a new vicar.
Do send Julie your favourite bible verses or hymn verses, names for prayer and any birthdays, celebrations or articles for inclusion in the bulletin. Julie can be contacted on 07756 918847 or firstname.lastname@example.org