I’ve just had another birthday! Where have the years gone I wonder – how time flies. What next? And I recall being told that it was Bette Davis who said, “Age ain’t no place for sissies”. And having surpassed her age-span I find myself having a certain sympathy with her sentiments. There aren’t many perks to old age.
And yet…am I too hasty in my judgement? ‘Take a step back’ I tell myself, ‘Pause a moment – think some more’.
How often in today’s full-on, chaotic, media-driven world are we too busy meeting deadlines, identifying true news from fake and maintaining the status quo? Too busy to appreciate the bigger picture – to take a longer view?
Still fresh in my mind, it was half a lifetime ago that I was introduced to a ‘birds-eye view’ of Church History in Britain through the ages. A fascinating overview of the ebb and flow of Church life from those early days when the Celts came up against the Roman Church culminating in the Synod of Whitby (663), through ongoing movement and change leading to the traditional denominations and emerging new expressions we know today. Church history is clearly seen to be shaped by the nature of society and its political and social pressures. Always changing but never losing the main tenets of our faith in the God that we know in Jesus Christ, risen and ascended, with us still through the Spirit.
What an encouragement as we face the challenges of the 21st century. We may not know what the future holds but the God who has been with his people in past years, in good times and bad, is with us still. Do not be afraid.
And yes – I know we do not need to be old to recognise the blessings of perspective – God’s view – God’s time – God’s purposes. Indeed, isn’t this one of the gifts of prayer? So let us embrace it, young and old, as we learn to live well in an uncertain world.
Christ has died
Christ is risen
Christ will come again!
Angela Hughes, Stainbeck United Reformed Church