Revd Jackie

Rev. Jackie Bullen

Letter from the Vicar

The Great British Summer

As this is our first summer here in Longthorpe it has been a great adventure so far, exploring the garden and watching and waiting for things to sprout, to grow and to bear fruit.

Things we didn’t plant, things we didn’t even know were in the soil until they showed themselves to us.

Some of them have been planted recently and others many years ago, but no matter how mature or how young the tree or shrub, they all need certain things to be able to grow.

When we arrived here in the springtime, it was in the middle of a very dry spell. Last winter and spring were reportedly the driest for many years and we remarked on the dryness of the soil and looked to the sky hoping for rain.

Watching the TV weather presenters closely and scouring the internet for the most hopeful forecast, watering the plants in the garden became an almost daily chore until the water collection butts ran dry and then we had another choice to make. Do we use water from the tap that costs money to buy and resources to provide or do we just accept that things might die and wait for natural water to fall?

Of course living things also need warmth and light to grow and flourish and on earth we have the sun to provide for this. Some days are beautiful blue sky days with that lovely golden orb shining brightly overhead, some are not so. Yet, even when dark clouds cover the sun, or we don’t see it for days on end, we still believe that there is a sun, up there somewhere, shining, giving out its warmth and light, even though we can’t always sense it.

Maybe this helps us to think about other areas of life. Could it be that even when we don’t feel loved, when the whole world seems to have turned against us and we feel abandoned, we can still believe that love exists somewhere, but perhaps for the moment is just out of reach.

Sometimes God seems silent to us, or we feel out of touch with him. We can, however, still believe that he exists, even though for the present we can’t hear him speak, or understand what he is trying to say to us.

When the sun shines, our spirits are lifted, even when the skies are cold and grey like today, when it rained for hours on end. Even in a torrential downpour, everything glistens, and we might catch a glimpse of a rainbow.

The sun is one of the most powerful images we have of the Son, Jesus Christ. It gives warmth and light, and provides life and joy to all. We all need light, warmth, and energy. With the sun, plants grow, live, breathe and multiply; without the sun they would die.

Some cultures thought our sun was a god, but we now know it is only a part of God’s creation, along with myriad other suns in the heavens above. It is a daily reminder of Jesus as the light of the world, and the power of light over dark.

Jesus brings light to our individual darkness, brings us the warmth of his compassion and care for each of us. God’s Spirit provides comfort in our times of despair and weakness, and helps us to grow in faith and love.

It is through Jesus’s love that we are filled with light and joy; his life and resurrection bring each of us new hope.

Whatever the weather…

God bless