Weekly Meditation 30/5/21

Size matters? How often have you heard that? I know it’s not often used to compare such things as speakers you might attach to mobile phones, etc. Yes there HI-Fi fanatics who will boast of the size of their woofers and tweeters, stating certain makes and designs are much better than others. I am certain many of you have heard the expression used of various other different situations. Humanity, it seems, are taken up with comparisons, it seems to be more true with some more than others. My American friends tell me this is especially true of Texans where the boast goes everything is bigger in Texas.

I think for many it starts when children begin in school and proud parents compare their children to the class members alongside their child. Height, weight and apparent intelligence are weighed up. Some , it seems, appear to be taller and stronger than others, cleaner and brighter extend maybe to others. Judged possibly by the books they are reading – my child is only on book number 4 in the scheme where your child is on book number 7, why isn’t my child on book 7? Teachers will tell you children develop at different rates, physically, socially and intellectually. Then as unpopular as it may be, genders mature at different ages ask anyone who’s studied child development.

From time to time this concept raises its head in Christian circles. Competitiveness rages between some Christians over who is higher in a hierarchy than others. The idea of being a big fish in a small pond is important to some people, in their own eyes. Being a small fish in a larger pond carries no kudos in the same eyes. Being “Mr Big” or “Ms Big” can often make individuals swell with pride, feel self important and make them less aware of what being a Christian is all about. It’s about being a servant amongst other servants – some years ago, prior to the Methodist Church assuming its current form an incident occurred. A young Primitive Methodist Minister was ordered about by his Chapel stewards. They told him he was just a servant of the Church i.e. in their eyes themselves. His response? “Yes I am the servant of the servants but you are not my masters”

So does size matter? In some ways yes – but its about the size of our hearts, the love we hold for others, how big a role Jesus plays in our lives. Ultimately, it’s not about “size matters” but it’s about what we do with what God has given us. It’s about how we use the skills and talents that are God given.

John Pugh (Rev)  Wymeswold Methodist

Collection for a Retirement Gift to Roger Kirkbride, Our Pharmacist

Roger has retired from the Pharmacy in Wymeswold where he has served The Wolds Community diligently for the last 11 years. Not only has he fought hard to maintain the pharmacy and introduced new services but he has provided invaluable advice and support to individuals in a warm, approachable and always professional manner.

We understand that many of you will have individually thanked him, however, as his retirement has happened suddenly many people may not be aware that he has left.

We feel strongly that his contribution to the community should be recognised. For this purpose collection boxes for donations will be available in the Pharmacy and Granvilles until Monday, May 10th. The proceeds will be used to buy a garden token for Roger.

Susan Paterson and Audrey Murray

Weekly Meditation 23/4/21

The Veterans Badge marks men and women who have served Queen and country in the Armed Forces. It makes no difference – Army, Navy or Air Force – all have served whether as a Regular or Reservist. I must admit my eyes are drawn immediately if I see someone wearing this mark of service. My first question usually involves asking who they served with – sometimes it’s just a number which signifies something either as a Unit, Squadron or Ship. The numbers may not mean much unless you know e.g. Medics might know 223, 212, 201, etc. Some people buy copies of the badge from the internet because they wish they’d been involved with the Forces. These “wannabies” are usually referred to as “Walts” by ex-Forces personnel, they stand out in some way or other, caught out as it were, because of a lack of knowledge.

My other thought is – how many of us wear some sort of mark that proclaims us as Christian? A cross, a crucifix, some form of the Christian fish symbol, a WWJD band or maybe a sweatshirt that proclaims something about Jesus? Do we stand out because of that which we wear? I am blessed because as a Christian Minister I wear a clerical collar (otherwise known as a ‘dog collar’) sometimes. Helpful indicator whenever I visit someone in hospital or a Home, reassuring folk who may be housebound that I am ‘legit’. However not everyone wears such a noticeable symbol of their faith.

How we wear our Christian faith is more important than any symbol we choose to wear or carry. Scripture tells us we are sealed by God’s Holy Spirit, Sun faith should shine out for all to see. Not that this is to give us glory but so that God may be glorified because of his presence in Sun lives. This being the case we should recognise other Christians the moment we walk into a room full of strangers. At once we should know them and they should know us as the worship song states “They’ll know we are Christians by Sun love, by Sun love, yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love”

John Pugh (Rev)  Wymeswold Methodist

Weekly Meditation 16/4/21

Who doesn’t like jelly babies? I am certain there will always be some who don’t like them yet many do. I was re-introduced to them as a young minister in the Hull area. Each Christmas morning there were two bags waiting to be shared by the congregation as they left after worshipping. Since that time it has been a habit that I have taken with me each time I have moved in ministry. Having said that I have been challenged about how appropriate it was to eat a (jelly) baby on Christmas morning – make your own mind up here.

Having said that the big question always used to be “Do you eat the head first or the legs?” Some would gleefully proclaim the head was the preferred first bite. However I also remember there was a well-known footballer called Norman Hunter at the time who was well known for his hard tackling which led to many a placard which proclaimed “Norman Hunter bites yer legs!” Hence some, in honour of him, bit off the legs first. Ultimately I just pop the whole thing in.

Recently I saw one of those online comparison quizzes that posed the question “What sort of sweet (candy) are you?” (bracketed equivalent for any US readers). The choice ran to jelly baby, chocolate covered nuts and raisins, boiled fruit sweets, liquorice all sorts and one other that I don’t remember. However, subconsciously, I thought to myself that I’m an all-sort, just as Paul spoke of to the Corinthian Christians in his first letter. He wrote ”I become all things to all men” (1 Corinthians 9:22)

The Psalmist wrote “Taste and see the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8), like Paul to be all things to all men is important. To talk to others at their level of interest means to find out their hobbies/skills and start there. For example if they’re keen anglers to speak of the disciples who were firstly fishermen and later were called as “Fishers of men”. For me its easy when I discover others are interested in railways, scale model or 12” to the foot gauge for the encouragement to “train up a child in the way” (Proverbs 22:6) goes a long way. Just remember the words of the hymn-writer Isaac Watts:

“Sweet is the work, my God, my king,

to praise your name, give thanks, and sing..”

John Pugh (Rev)   Wymeswold Methodist

Weekly Meditation 9/4/21

Most people are aware of the old saying that says if you ring for a doctor late at night for help/advice/assistance its “Take two aspirin/paracetamol and call me in the morning if there’s no change”. The variant I heard some years ago as a young Christian was that Moses approached God in prayer to say the Children of Israel had gone astray and “what could God do about it?” The instructions he received was that he should start by climbing Mount Sinai where he was given two tablets, told to take them regularly, encourage the rest to do the same and see if they helped. Obviously the two tablets had the ten commandments inscribed on them, they wouldn’t change things overnight but long term who knows?

It feels to me that as we get older doctors find more and more wrong with us, ask any older men (I speak from experience here) how often they compare with others what medication they’re on. Medicines for high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol, greater numbers than ever it appears suffering from Diabetes. Many years ago before this medication was discovered how many of us would have passed on, fated never to reach middle let alone old age? The advance of modern medicine has increased life expectancy greatly over the centuries and I am certain many of us are very grateful for that.

Health and healing play a big role in the Christian faith, especially mental health particularly during this Covid pandemic. Yet what doesn’t get such a high profile is spiritual health and how do we make sure we are in the best of spiritual health? There is no expectation that spiritually we need to run a marathon or feed only on food mentioned in the Bible (I have heard some Christians put this forward as a healthy diet!) Somehow or other I don’t fancy the John the Baptist diet of locusts and wild honey. No there is nothing too difficult, the following not necessarily being in any order of importance.

  1. Read your bible – find a version that you find easy to read and use a good commentary to help you understand what you’ve read’
  2. Spend some time each day in prayer, making sure you listen as well as speak
  3. Seek and find a Christian fellowship that not only do you feel comfortable as part of but also offers help and support. Later on as the situation gets better the same fellowship should be the one you enjoy worshipping with.
  4. Find a way to serve the Lord in the wider community

John Pugh (Rev) Wymeswold Methodist

Wymeswold Duck Races and Open Gardens

Wymeswold Village Presents “A Weekend of Family Fun”, 11th and 12th September 2021.

The Duck Races and Open Gardens committees are joining forces this year to bring you all a well-deserved village event!

Saturday 11th September: Wymeswold Duck Races – ‘Goes on Tour!’  The Duck Race is going ‘on tour’ to Wymeswold Playing Fields for this year.

Sunday 12th September: Wymeswold Open Gardens. We are appealing for gardens – whether you have opened previously, or this is your first time.  We would like to have as big a diversity of gardens as possible.  Large, small, established or newly-planted.  Due to a later date we can showcase more fruit and vegetable gardens along with late summer/early Autumn flowers.

Contact Andy: andythegardener@googlemail.com or 07956 861305

 

Weekly Meditation 1/4/21

The picture of the cross that comes with this meditation looks a little odd doesn’t it? The arms are not at the same level as we often see the traditional empty cross. They are off-set as my old technology teacher would have said, well he probably would have said something along the lines of “They’re as straight as a dogs hind leg”. This was often the case when boys woodwork was held up to eyelevel and just part was a “gnats eyelash off”. “Sort it laddie” was the next instruction that usually followed. The real reason it was made this way is it’s a holding cross, when you hold it in your pocket, unseen, it feels natural.

The cross has such an important role in the life of the Christian, Good Friday often is depicted with Jesus being crucified. That in itself reminds me of a true story told me by a long standing friend some 45 years or so ago. She wanted to buy a Christian friend a cross to wear, so off she went to a local jewellers in town. When the assistant found out what was required out came a tray filled with all sizes and designs. The next comment floored me when, apparently for a little bit more my friend could buy one with, wait for it, “a little man on it”. The assistant obviously was not a Christian.

The occupied cross stands as a message that Jesus died for all, for the sins of everyone. The cruelty of any death by crucifixion does not bear really thinking about, yet He went through that for all of us without complaint. Others have died in that way over the centuries, two of my uncles, prisoners of war in Changi during WW2 spoke of men being crucified by bayonet for relatively minor offences. How many others died in the jungles of Burma without any others witnessing the atrocity?

The empty cross though carries a different message entirely, a message of hope. It says Jesus is no longer there but risen and gives us the hope of eternal life. So, as mentioned by others past, let us not be Good Friday people but Easter People, let us this Easter carry the message of the Risen Lord wherever we might find ourselves. Happy Easter everyone may the blessing, grace and mercy of Jesus Christ be with you all.

John Pugh (Rev) Wymeswold Methodist