In Focus Magazine

Thought for the Month

Dear Friends,

I’ve been thinking a lot about water recently; as I’ve been looking after the plants I purchased at the Gardeners’ coffee morning, and also as I’ve experienced a little of the disruption caused by the project to renew water pipes locally.

Water is such a precious commodity and yet we can so easily take it for granted: I wonder if sometimes we might be in danger of relating to Jesus in the same way?

When we join together for services we remember and celebrate the enormity of the life-giving gift Jesus offers us, but on a day-to-day basis, it can be so easy to forget to give thanks for the deep wells of love and forgiveness and hope that are available to us (to all people!) through him.

This week, Sue and I spent a quiet day at Launde Abbey, our diocesan retreat house. Launde celebrates its 900th anniversary this year – to know more about this please speak to one of the ministry team or explore – Launde is open to all, not just clergy!

Whilst there, I was drawn back to Launde’s strapline for the 900th celebrations: ‘Ancient Wells-Living Water’ (another reference to water!) and this made me think of the story in John’s gospel where Jesus, ‘tired out by his journey’ sits by an ancient well where he encounters a Samaritan woman (John 4).

As I remembered the story, I reflected on how this meeting with Jesus was transformational – for the woman and for all those who came to believe in Jesus through her testimony.

The woman went to an ancient well for a drink and discovered instead living water that quenched her inner thirst: the community at Launde pray that this will be true for those who visit them and I certainly came away refreshed by the time spent in prayer, in Jesus’ presence.

It was good to have time, during the day, to reflect on curacy and especially the last couple of years at the Good Shepherd. Curacy lasts for only a limited period and it will soon be time for me to move on: thank you for all your encouragement whilst I’ve been with you; thank you for enabling me to learn from and with you.

The community at Launde have crafted a prayer for their 900th year and I invite you to pray this with them and with me as we all continue on our Christian journeys of discipleship and service –

Eternal God, who calls us to draw water from the ancient wells of salvation, and whose son is the living water from whom we can drink and never be thirsty: resource, renew and refresh us, as with gratitude for the past, we step out with confidence into your future, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

With love and prayers,

Elizabeth York