Yesterday we went to a friend’s house in Norfolk. Each year a group of us try to meet up. We first met as young Christians in Derby where we trained as teachers 50+ years ago. Marriages have lasted; faith, although sometimes rocked, remains strong. I’m always encouraged.
Yesterday there were 11 of us. We’ve got to know each other pretty well over the years. We told our more recent stories – children, grandchildren, holidays, adventures… disappointments, sickness, anxieties, bereavements.
Together as individuals, families, friends we’ve reached this point. Beyond this point? We really don’t know.
We came home and watched the news. Apart from shocking scenes from Iran and the war continuing in Ukraine there’s so much unrest and uncertainty in our nation. Kwasi Kwarteng has been replaced by Jeremy Hunt as chancellor – our fourth chancellor since July; Liz Truss’ leadership of the nation is under scrutiny; there’s further unrest within the Tory party and continuing financial instability and uncertainty.Looking back… up to this point… Covid, Brexit, Prime Minister change, Queen Elizabeth’s death… But beyond this point…?
I walked along the beach this morning. Initially it was dark, damp and misty. As the sun rose over the sea the mist lifted – it was bright, warm and clear.
Up to this point… mist and uncertainty. Now sunlight and clarity… Beyond this point? Who knows what the uncertainties of the British weather will bring!
…I re-read the narrative of the trial of Jesus, imagining I didn’t know how the story ended.
Up to this point – popularity, miracles, inspiring leadership, the support of many… but now beatings, lies, humiliation, aloneness… Beyond this point…?
Musing… The ancient story of Samuel… after defeating the Philistine army he sets up a memorial stone: ‘He named it Ebenezer saying, ‘Up to this point the Lord has helped us.’’
…My teaching friends… me… Up to this point – Ebenezer… helped by our God. Beyond this point… seeking sunlight and clarity… trusting that our God will continue to help us.