David wrote, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. . . he leads me. . . ” (Psalm 23. 1-2) The Bible

March 2010

Aedan can walk. He uses a slightly rolling gait, as if he’s spent a year at sea, but as he reached 1 year, he’s taken to walking. He’s not particular; if crawling will get him their quicker, then he’ll drop to all fours for a bit of speed. Walking, though, allows you to see your target as you make your way to the destination. He sets off with a determined look etched onto his face. He can change direction midstep, and has sufficient balance to absorb minor knocks from his cousins and others without falling. Even so, the rolling gait still can end with a sudden sit down, or if he becomes absorbed in something he has seized through his expeditionary adventures, he may forget to multi-task, and fall over.

Aedan finds the whole world fascinating; everything is interesting and to be explored. Walking is a means to an end, and the end is exploration and experimentation. He has a good memory, and isn’t easily distracted, so even picking him up and depositing him far from his original objective is largely futile; he simply turns and homes in on the original task, like some miniaturised satellite navigation device. The consequence of this is that his world is full of ‘No!’ and occasional taps on the hand. As far as he’s concerned, it’s just because Mum & Dad are mean, and don’t want him to explore his world. The alternative view favoured by parents is that he’s either a danger to himself or to other’s property. Aedan has relatively little concept of danger. He knows that he can go upstairs, but not down. If you give him a chip, he feels the temperature by laying two fingers across the chip before putting it into his mouth. Despite this, as he toddles off on his grand adventures, he is unaware of danger, only excitement .

Last week, I went to London for General Synod; Tim, also on General Synod, brought Aedan and Natalie with him. At one stage, Aedan set off on one of his adventures. Although he never looked back, I was close behind him, shadowing him, watching out for danger, guarding him, ready to catch him if he fell or guide him if he strayed into danger. Aedan sees a world of excitement to explore, but I was there to guard him without interfering. Sometimes when he does this, he will glance backwards or upwards and catch a glimpse of you there; the reward is a huge smile, as he realises that you are with him, and you get to smile back – magic!Much of the time, however, he acts as if you are not present – until he trips and needs some comfort.

God is revealed in the Bible in similar terms; the world is made full of excitement and adventure (“And God saw everything he had made, and behold, it was very good. ” Genesis 1. 31); God is constantly present, guiding and guarding, but frequently not interfering, so that it is easy to think we are alone (“The Lord is my shepherd. . . even though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for you are with me. . . ” (Psalm 23); yet when we take the time to look up and behind, there is God, ready and waiting to talk, a smile on His face (“. . . and lo, I am with your always, to the close of the age. ” Matt 28. 20)

It is because in Jesus we have found a God who guides and guards us through his exciting world, a God who made us for himself, a God who waits for us to talk but rewards us with a warm smile, that we are holding some special events with the Bishop of Lancaster, Geoff Pearson, to which you and your family are warmly welcomed. Friday 26th March, 7pm Bishop Geoff’s Film Quiz night, Saturday 27th March 9am Men’s Breakfast at the Highland Hotel with Liam Moore and Bishop Geoff, 2pm Messy Church for all the family, and then Bishop Geoff will be speaking on Palm Sunday 28th March at 9. 30am, 11am and at the Confirmation service at 6. 30pm. As it is Palm Sunday, when the people greeted Jesus as he came into Jerusalem, we’re calling it “Waving Bye?”Ring 351886 for further details, which will also be circulating shortly. Please come and meet our – and your – loving heavenly Father.

Praying that you may find in Christ Jesus and His church a warm welcome into His family today and for ever.

Your servant in the Lord Jesus Christ,

Simon Cox.