A View From The Vicarage, January 2018

Dear Friends

Have you made a new year’s resolution yet?

If you have, I wonder if you’ll manage to keep it further than the middle of February?

For many of us the beginning of another year is the perfect opportunity to spend a short time looking back on the year that is past and I’m reasonably confident that the majority of us when we do so will find ourselves thinking very much as many schoolteachers comment when looking at children’s schoolwork “could do better|”.  I know that is certainly what I’ll be concluding.

As I write this we’re in the middle of advent the time in the year when we look forward again to God’s solution to the catastrophe inflicted upon the world through human sin and as we look out across the world today we can see multitudinous examples of how desperately needed that remedy remains even today.  From wars and conflicts in distant lands to the vile examples of people forced from their homes because of their ethnicity to the barbarism and horror of human trafficking.  In the light of this calamity of human suffering and the dominance of evil, the world can seem a profoundly disturbing and frightening place.  It can seem that God’s solution to the problem of human sin has, in itself, been another abject failure.  If that’s the best God can come up with then clearly he needs to go back to the drawing board.

But let’s not forget then whenever Christ speaks of the Kingdom of God he always uses illustrations of something very small making a huge difference (seeds, yeast, a penny, a lost sheep).  That reminds us that is as actually the small gestures, the minute almost imperceptible changes that can and do collectively have the biggest impact.  That’s what God’s Kingdom is about gradually changing hearts and minds.  I’ve always liked Benjamin Franklin’s observation because I think it’s a wonderful illustration of how something seemingly insignificant can have a dramatic and far reaching impact.

Benjamin Franklin: “For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
                               For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
                               For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
                               For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
                               For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
                               And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.”

What will be your horse shoe nail resolution for 2018?

I’d like to wish you God’s most abundant blessings throughout this year.

With my love and prayers

Ben

Ben Griffith Comment