June Blog 2024

Dear St Mark’s,

I’d like to start my blog this month by saying a huge thank you to all of you. Whether you have joined our growing team, financially contribute to our work, pray for us, or any number of other ways that you support the young people and other work we carry out at St Mark’s. It is through this multi-faceted team that together we are: ‘Enlarge[ing] the site of [our] tent’ (Isaiah 54:2-3) and I am truly grateful to you all.

Last time I wrote to you, I was sharing with you what I thought God was saying to me. This time I’d love to ask you – What do You think God is saying to you?

In 1 Corinthians 12:4-27, Paul writes to the church in Corinth to address a number of issues they are facing. In his letter, he uses the image of a body to help them see how each person, with their unique gifts, skills, loves, passions etc help to grow and strengthen the body of Christ (the Church), and how we are weaker without them. This is an image that I think is still helpful for us today.

With the busyness of life, we can often get sucked into this swirling vortex of jobs, activities, cooking, golf, caring for others and so much more. On the occasions when I do stop to breathe and lift my head I am (sad to say) surprised to be reminded that there is a world to be enjoyed beyond driving my children to the next swimming lesson. I wonder how many of you are good at taking time to stop and be and breathe and remember that ‘I am fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139:14), ‘I am a child of God’ (John 1:12-13), ‘I am loved by God’ (John 15:9).

In the Bible, we are told several times that Jesus went to a quiet place to pray. Mark 1:35 says that Jesus did this very early in the morning while it was still dark. Now, I am not a morning person. Early in the morning is not my friend, very early makes me feel weak at the knees and the only way I can fathom someone wanting to be up and out of the house when it’s still dark must be when it is winter, as the day light hours are shorter.

I can, however, see the value of why Jesus chose this time to stop and be still with God. There is a freshness early in the morning when it is still slightly dewy, and the air hasn’t been disturbed. There is a peace and a lightness before the hustle and bustle starts. Jesus knew that he needed to recharge his batteries and listen to God before facing the day ahead. He knew that he wouldn’t be disturbed as others would still be in bed. And he knew that this would mean that he could stop and breathe and listen.

I wonder where your place of quiet is?

Take some time today to listen to God’s still small voice (1 Kings 19:11—12). What is God saying to you?
Listen to what God wants to tell you today.
Listen for the answer to your prayer – not just making your request.
Listen to others and see where God is at work in their lives and yours.
Is he asking something of you?
Is he challenging you?
Is he asking you to change how you spend your time?
Does he just want to spend some time with you – to say I made you to hang out with you, I love you my child.

Once refreshed, Jesus doesn’t stay in his still, peaceful place, he comes back to the world. He enters back into the hustle and bustle and seeks out relationship with those he meets. What can we take from this? Once we have listened to God and been refreshed, there is time for action. If you feel like God is asking you to contribute in a new or different way to the work here, please get in touch with the team leader for that work, staff team, PCC or leadership team, so that we can help you explore this further.

Together, with God’s guidance, we can ‘enlarge the site of our tent’.

God Bless