Thought for the month

Thought from Sainthill - August/September 2020

The children in our village school have had a weird few months; some will recall what they’ve heard about evacuees 80 years ago, taken from school, family and friends to be safe, -but in strange places! No doubt in the future they’ll look back, with stories of lessons learnt and losses felt from this time.

Our Year 6 leavers especially have missed out on nearly all the usual end-of-school-career events and celebrations, although their teachers have done their best to make it a good ‘closure’. (It has been difficult for them too!)

I’m particularly attached to this year’s group, since they were in the reception class when I first got involved at the school. As they leave, seven years later, as impressive young people now, I am privileged to have been at their last gathering. I was reflecting on three things we have shared in assemblies and in other contexts, -hopefully helpful and lasting foundations for their lives.

The first thing is a matter of FACT: they are all infinitely valuable, precious beyond price, whatever their gifts, abilities, talents or struggles, whatever their heights or depths, they are loved beyond expression. We would never want them to forget that, but to hold on to the fact, no matter what life brings. I pray that they will keep a sense of self-worth, and live in the strength of it.

The second is a matter of FAITH: we can’t tell children what to believe, if we do, we risk them rejecting it. I have tried to share my own belief that the wonder of the world around us, the infinity of space beyond us, the evidence of the life within us, and so much else, point to the existence of a powerful, personal and loving God, despite, and because of, the challenges we face.

The third is a matter of FUTURE: if we put the fact of the value of our lives alongside the faith that there is someone above and beyond, then in those hands our best interests and greatest fulfilments and highest happiness must lie. So a future in a loving, working relationship with God seems basic.

Many people -smarter and better than I- have found and lived a life in the light and love of God. I pray that these fantastic young people will never close their minds to the possibilities of it. -And neither should any of us.

With my good wishes and prayers,

David   (Minister, Sainthill Baptist Church. Telephone, 260071)