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Vicar's Message

by Revd Martijn Mugge



It’s hard to believe, but summer’s almost over and children will be heading back to school. For some this will mean a joyful reunion with school friends and an excited anticipation of what the new school year might bring. For others, however, it will not be as plain sailing. Many children will have moved up to a different school and there will be high degree of anxiety: “Will I fit in?” “Will I be able to make friends?” and so on. Parents too, will have their own anxieties about their children: “Will they like their new school?” “Will they be accepted?” “Will they make ‘nice’ friends?”

It is at times like these that we hope, as parents, that we have prepared our children enough to be confident and strong in the face of adversities that are bound to come their way. We try to hold their hand for as long as we can, but at some point, we have to let go and allow them to explore life, with all its challenges, for themselves, whilst our role changes to providing advice, support and encouragement.

The picture that emerges here is not unlike the relationship we find in the Bible between Jesus and us, where Jesus is described as the Shepherd and we are his sheep. The one big difference is that Jesus has not come just to give advice, but to enter our lives and be our Shepherd. Sadly, the Bible tells us that “we all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way.” I suspect we all know of children who have done just that: they have chosen their own path and as a result have found themselves in a bad place. God does not want that to happen to any of us, which is why he longs for us to recognise Jesus’ call and follow him so that he can take us by the hand and guide us through the adversities and challenges of life that we all face.

Will you walk with Him?

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