Dear Friends and Colleagues,
This week (I believe tomorrow as I write this) two of our small number in Cayman will depart our island home and return home to the United Kingdom. I refer of course to Matthew and Victoria, who perhaps will get to read this letter at some stage in the UK or on their way home. May the Lord help them and their family in a process which will doubtless be eventful - not altogether easy, but with His help, never impossible.
Many of us have had the experience of re-rooting ourselves, so to speak, in a different country. Some like myself have done this twice. It is never done without a sense of trepidation. Some will be looking forward one day to retracing their steps, others to living out the rest of their lives where they are and perhaps there are some also who may still for one reason or another envisage a further move to some land new to them. As those in Christ we know that however permanent we envisage our residence anywhere in this world to be, however “settled” our personal documents declare us to be, we can never altogether close our minds to the possibility that some day … .
One thinks too of the worlds of those - so many - whose lives have been forcibly uprooted for one reason or another from the lands of their birth. Many, perhaps the majority of us who live in the hemisphere of the “New World” can think of their ancestors who were uprooted, either against their will or in response to the hideous intentions of others, from their homes, and who found themselves in a strange new world where all sorts of new learning had to take place for the sake of very survival. My own ancestral story seems very tame by comparison. I have no doubt that in some way the experiences of our ancestors live on in some way in the character traits of their descendants - us - no matter what evolutionary theory one may have imbibed.
In our personal history the scriptures are proved right again and again: for here "we have no continuing city” (Hebrews 13:14). Indeed, the very “city” with which we were once familiar may have changed beyond all recognition and have become unfamiliar. Or the new “city” in which we took refuge may have changed before our troubled eyes in a flash. And we may well ask ourselves, Will we be forced to enact a story that repeats or is congruent to the story of our ancestors?
Nevertheless, the scripture has the salve that we need: "For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come" (Hebrews 13:4). And that one indeed proves to be everything we were looking for all along.
The Collect for the week of the Seventh Sunday after Trinity is
Lord of all power and might, who art the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of thy name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of thy great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Here is a prayer for all facing uncertainty. We are reminded and assured not only that the Lord we address possesses “power and might”, but that He is also “the author and giver of all good things”. The word “graft” is surely one of great comfort: we pray not just that “the love of thy name”, the increase of “true religion” and the nourishment of “all goodness” may be granted or given, but that it may be “grafted” in our hearts. What is truly “grafted” is not easily going to fall off, and in confident expectancy we pray “of thy great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
In times of great uncertainty, let us be reminded of the incomparably greater certainty of the assurances of the Faith of Christ Jesus.
For directions about the services this Sunday the 18th July, the Seventh Sunday after Trinity, please see the website www.TruthWithLanguage.com .
In reliance upon the mighty power of the Triune God to keep us faithful to and in all truth, I am in your service