Rebecca's letter for October

Don’t hide your light under a bushel! 

I expect we’re all familiar with that saying. We might say it to someone who is being a bit shy about something that they’re good at. They may not want to push themselves forward. The saying actually comes from some verses in Matthew’s gospel where Jesus is talking to his disciples and others about being lights in the world. In the same way that we wouldn’t light a lamp and then hide it under a bowl or a “bushel”, so we are meant to let the light of Christ shine in our lives.

We often think about Jesus being the light of the world. This is what we think about when we light candles in our churches at our services. Jesus came to shine as a light in the world and to show us the way to the Father in heaven. Just as we need a torch or a lamp to help us find our way in the dark, so we need Jesus to show us the way to the Father. If we want to know more about God, then look at Jesus.

In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus goes one stage further. He says: 'You are the light of the world' (chapter 5:14). The “you” is plural, not singular. In other words, we are meant to be shining like lights in the world too, collectively, like the lights we see from a town on a hill, shining for all to see. Or the light from a lighthouse which shines in the dark on the coast, alerting approaching ships of the coastland ahead.

At the recent commissioning service for Donna, our new Children, Families & Schools' Worker, Andy Levett shared some of these thoughts with us. Now that Donna is starting to get underway in her new role, it doesn’t mean that we can all make a big sigh of relief and hand over to her all the work with children’s and families in our villages. Not at all. It may be the focus for Donna for 18 hours in a typical week, but it’s not all up to her. We are meant to share in this together. She has in her job description about supporting and encouraging others in their work and ministry amongst children and families: in our schools, at Messy Church, at baptisms and All Age Worship, and other events we may be running. But she works as part of a team, and we’re all meant to be supporting and encouraging each other in our gifts and in our service in our community and for God.

Donna is making a really good start, and we’re really excited to have her. I pray that we may all be shining as lights in our villages and communities, and sharing the love of God with all those around us. Please continue in prayer for Donna and for all who work with children and families in our villages and schools, that they may know the love and care of our heavenly Father.

Rebecca Harris