St Andrew's Church

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The times they are a changing – A thought for February

The times they are a changing

As the present now,
Will later be past,
The order is rapidly fading,
And the first one now will later be last

Cause the times they are a-changing

I’m not a particular fan of Bob Dylan, and bear with me here if you’re not either, but I have found myself listening to these and other songs by other artists with similar sentiments recently. I would quote a Lily Allen piece but it contains rather more expletives than I think I’d get away with in a piece for Cornard News, including the actual title of the song – I’ll leave you to find it for yourself…..

The fact seems to be that the world is changing rapidly – brexit, new prime minister, a new U.S. president who is nothing if not controversial (I won’t get political here, let’s just say that Lily Allen puts its well for me), Zika Virus, an escalation of the refugee crisis and the continued threat of extremist terrorism to name but a few, and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with fear of what else can happen.

Does all this news of change motivate us or cause us to draw back from the world. It’s a challenging question we all face and if I’m honest, there are plenty of days when all I want to do is pull the covers over my head and wish the world away. The fact is, however, change is just change – it doesn’t have to be good or bad – it is what we make of change that defines its character. Do we despair or do we seek help to understand and adjust; do we pull up the drawbridge or do we go out and face the dragon of change; do we just let things continue as they are or do we go out and become agents of change ourselves!

Jesus was one such agent of change – he challenged the unjust structures of his day, he was radically inclusive and loving, he taught that the giving up of power for the sake of love was the greatest calling of all as he offered himself for his own creation on the cross and proved the power of this self-giving love over even the unjust structures of death itself by rising again – for us.

The truth is that the only constant in life is change and if we do not move with it, shape it for the better, challenge it where it is wrong and at the very least learn to understand it we risk becoming out-of-touch, irrelevant, marginalised or ignored.

I encourage you to understand and engage with change around you – even if it’s only to better understand the needs of others whom the changes affect – it could be said that especially with our young people, culture and society are changing at a pace far more rapid that at any other point in modern history. Our young people face this brave new world with little guidance from elders, as we ourselves do not understand the culture we’ve created, into which they are growing. It’s part of what we’re trying to do with The Porch Project, welcoming young people into the church, offering a place of welcome, fun and safety in which they can voice the struggle that life often becomes.

I also encourage you to become agents of change in your own lives: whether its changes like seeking the right help for your present struggle, daring to actually speak out against injustice locally or globally, getting stuck in with our community of Great Cornard to make a difference in young and old lives alike or in your working and familial relationships.

I don’t promise that it’ll be easy, but we do have a companion who knows what it is to bring change and who gave his own life for it. We also have each other – it is my hope that church will increasingly become a place where we can wrestle with this change openly and honestly. Yes church is a place that is changing too both in style, form and facility but you’ll be hearing more about that as the year progresses……

May you be blessed by the constant love of God in this changing world and be given courage for the tasks of change which you face.

Till next time,

 


Contact

Rev'd Chris Ramsey
Tel: 01787 376 293
Email: vicar@standrews-gc.org.uk.
Further contact details can be found under the "About us" menu

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