August 2020

Do you remember the safe return from the International Space station of astronaut Major Tim Peake in June 2016 after 186 days in space?

It certainly fired up the imagination, of not only children but adults too I am sure. It was an amazing feat of modern technology. It opens up the possibility of learning more about the wonders of the universe in which we live. We live in an age which opens up such tremendous possibilities and opportunities; how many of us would like to space walk and look down and see the whole earth below us I wonder. We live in a fast moving world and the new exciting inventions and opportunities of today become the accepted facts of tomorrow. Perhaps even more in this year when we have seen so much sorrow, so much change to how we live and do things, we need to take some time to pause and breathe. Perhaps this breathing space will help us be grateful for the little things that we take for granted. Perhaps as we marvel and learn more and more about the universe and thank God for the wonderful world which He created.

Whilst not many, if any, of us will get the opportunity to visit the International Space Station the pursuit of knowledge and learning, the spirit of adventure it inspires is still to be valued. Jesus himself promised that we would be guided into the truth by the Spirit and it is important to always seek the truth. For truth and knowledge if used appropriately is a wonderful thing. If we use our new discoveries for good, rather than evil then the knowledge we gain can be used to enhance the world. Perhaps this year, as we wait for a Covid-19 vaccine to be found, is a time for thinking about the impact of decisions made now – will they be for the greater good and the good of the world, rather than the glory of an individual or a certain section of humankind?

The next few weeks are for many the time of the annual summer holiday. Today, as never before, we would normally have a plethora of choices, although may be not the International Space Station just yet! We might have been planning to go on safari in Africa, cruising in the Caribbean or to a campsite in France. Much of the decision will be dependent on not only our personal preferences but also on our age, health and financial resources; and sadly, this year on where we feel it is safe to go. 

There is no doubt though that we have a much wider choice than those who lived in days gone by. For many, at the beginning of the 20th century, the best they could look forward to was a working holiday in the fields. Today we have much greater expectations. This is all to the good. Our world has become a much smaller place, but does that lead to complacency. Do we take for granted the marvellous creation from God or do we use our knowledge to learn a truer dependency on God, are we truly thankful for the marvellous creation or do we still have to learn a truer dependence?

Whether you have a staycation or are off to visit some interesting place in the world I wish you all a happy and enjoyable summer break; I pray that it be a time of refreshment and recuperation for all.

With every blessing

Revd Christine

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