Last month, I had a phone call from my specialist; I was due for an annual check-up. It just so happened there was an appointment available at 8.30 the very next morning. After the test, I was talking to the young specialist – he was new, I hadn’t seen him before.
He asked me what I did for a living and I told him I was a retired Anglican priest. “Is that like in a church?” he asked. “Yes” I said, “in the Anglican church”. He asked me how I got into a job like that and I explained that it wasn’t a standard career option that was discussed at school; that for me it was a realization later in life that God was calling me to ordained ministry. He got that! “Ah, so it’s like a vocation,” he said.
He continued, “Does that mean you found Jesus? A friend of mine found Jesus and his life turned around.” I asked him what that meant. He told me that his friend was severely depressed and on his birthday he had decided to commit suicide. He then had an experience of feeling at one with the world. From that day, my specialist told me, his friend started to live a healthier life, lost a lot of weight and wanted to find out more about what his experience meant. I asked how his friend was doing that and he told me that he was using the internet and reading the Bible. I told him about St Nicholas and Alpha and how important it is to find out more about Jesus in a safe group setting. I gave him the St Nic’s website address.
As a Christian I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe in God-incidences. God puts people in our way for a reason. I encourage you to reflect on the ‘coincidences’ in your life. Could they be ‘God-incidences?’ How are we being asked to be ‘salt and light’ for others? Perhaps you might like to reflect on Matthew 5:13-16.
‘You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot.
‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
We are so blessed with the vibrant community at St Nic’s. We can have confidence to invite people to deepen their faith with our community whether that is through prayer or worship, Wednesday dinners, bible studies or group discussions.
Let us pray (adapted from David Adam Complete themed intercessions)
Lord God, help us to be aware of the God-incidences in our lives.
Teach us to walk in your way and to rejoice in your truth.
We ask your blessing on all in this parish that we may be salt and light for others.
We pray for all who are new to the faith
and all who are growing in a deeper awareness of your presence.
May we all know that wherever we go and whatever happens
you are with us and ready to lead us. Amen.
by Carol Reid