Minister’s Letter Summer 2018

Dear Friends,

It’s hard to believe that we are almost at mid-summer with it’s longer days and warmer weather. Generally, we have been blessed with reasonable weather for the past two months and let us hope that this continues.

During the months of July and August, the pace of life slows down in Brussels; there are fewer cars on the roads (no traffic jams), fewer meetings taking place, children are off from school etc. Generally, people are more relaxed. Some of us will take a holiday in the summer- if circumstances allow us, where we can relax and enjoy a change in routine. It’s during the summer months that we find more time to reflect on the past, the change of pace helps this process. What went well over the past months and what could have gone better?

Personal reflection must be part of the DNA of the Christian’s life- in that we should be referring life events, our activities, our decisions and our attitudes back to the benchmark of our our faith in Christ. I am not saying that disciples of Christ should over analyse everything, but we are called to live distinctively different lives that show integrity and make decisions that reflect the lordship of Jesus Christ over us.

Jesus himself took time to reflect. The gospels describe various moments when Jesus goes off to a quiet place to pray. What did he pray about? If his prayers were anything like ours then he would not only have brought situations of concern before his Heavenly Father, but he would have taken his joys and his frustrations to him as well. Christ’s prayers, like our own, would have been inspired by his personal reflections of his ministry and the relationships that he forged with his apostles and his wider circle of disciples.

There is something else that the quieter summer months allow us to do and that is to plan for the future. The Bible tells the story of God’s saving work for all of creation and human beings are included in his divine endeavor. The Biblical account of forgiveness of sin and redemption from fallenness is described from the book of Genesis through to the book of Revelation. God has a plan and we are a part of it.

In his providence, God weaves his divine plan into our individual lives, but his plans for our lives are not always clear to us. So we are asked to put our trust in him.

What of the plans that we make for the future? It might be big decisions about the future. Where should I study? What job should I apply for? Whom should I marry? It might also be the more trivial issues of day-to-day life that vex us when we continue to need guidance in what we should do. For me, it is assessing the pastoral needs of the congregation and discerning the preaching programme for the autumn months and into the winter period. Whatever the plans we are making, just as it is with personal reflection, our frame of reference is the Lord Jesus Christ. He knows what lies ahead of us and the Christian ought to be intentional in placing their future in his hands.

May you seek the Lord’s guidance over the summer months,

Your minister and friend,