Musings from the Manse – July

I am writing this after reflecting on how my calling to Bilton and Knaresborough began over twelve months ago and how I have felt at home from the very first meeting with the Elders in May 17 and in the warmth of your welcome when we moved here and since. I reflect on the text from Psalm 133.1 ‘How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity’ and there is so much over the past 12 months that reflects this essence of God’s word to us. It has been so good getting to know people and feeling that sense of family and of working together in unity towards the mission God has called us to. But unity is not always about agreeing all the time, it is about sharing the experience together as different individuals and living with difference.

Jesus and His disciples lived together in unity but not always agreeing. But the unity of kindred spirits should override the differences of opinion and character and backgrounds of the individuals. Indeed how good and pleasant it is when we experience being together in such ways that give us a common purpose and in the power of fellowship that can never be underestimated. Deep fellowship occurs when new people are accepted into the community and when community is willing to change to embrace them. It occurs when conversations move beyond talking about the weather, when the fellowship work together, where all feel included and for a common purpose. Indeed, this should be reflected in the life of all churches.

I began to reflect on where are the places where I see kindred living together in unity, especially in a world that seems to encourage disunity with Brexit, the Israel conflict and the tense relationship between East and West. Families can be adverts for both deep unity and disunity. I am blessed to have a family that do enjoy being together. It is great when we meet to catch up or holiday together or simply follow each other on Facebook and conversation covers many areas sometimes being just fun and other times being deep meaningful and supportive.

One of the greatest joys to me is being part of our church family and whilst we can get wrapped up in the issues of being church, we must never lose sight of the great joy it is for people to meet and be together in God’s name. In simplistic terms the Church’s purpose is to worship God and to act out God’s mission for His world and relationship is key to that. Worship on our own is not the same as worship together in relationship and unity and mission is not so much about shouting the Good News on street corners but being the Good News in the relationships we have, and strive to create.

Maybe you want to reflect on this text and let me know your thoughts? Consider with God;
How do I contribute in church and in other walks of my life to living together in unity?

Psalm 133.1 ‘How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity’

Your friend and servant

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