Ministry Letter

Gareth writes... (October 2021)

When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. John 6:16-17
Well, October is finally here. For me October always marks a turning point in the year. We’ve had Spring, Summer is now well and truly past, and we’re now living in autumnal times, with winter soon to follow. I’m sure you’ll have noticed that the evenings are getting darker earlier and oh too soon the clocks will change. It sounds a bit dreary doesn’t it. Spring and Summer are often filled with a sense of hope of warmth, but studies are showing that Seasonal Depression is a very real thing that impacts people particularly during the duller months.

 

The above Bible verses are taken from John’s Gospel, and the writer John has this very strong theme of light and darkness running through his writings. Just before the above passage, Jesus has done some amazing things, it’s been a time of real hope for the people. But now John is transitioning things, he writes that it’s now evening, it’s… ‘dark’, and Jesus is not with the disciples (his friends). Now in any other Gospel you wouldn’t read into this, but with John it’s important to note that it’s ‘dark’, that God (Jesus) seems absent. With this in mind the writer continues on that the disciples are in their boat and a huge storm hits; things get nasty! They are terrified! And then, in the midst of this darkness, Jesus comes. He doesn’t arrive like any other person. They’re in the middle of a lake, in the midst of a dark and dreadful storm, and Jesus comes walking out to them on the water saying… ‘It is I… don’t be afraid.’


Over the past couple of years, during the pandemic, health and wellbeing have been hugely affected for many people, it has been quite a storm. And for many the seas aren’t calm yet. Coupling this with the increasing darkness of winter ahead and we may find ourselves feeling a lot like the disciples in their boat, in the dark, seemingly alone. Yet, it is in the midst of this darkness that Jesus, the Light of the World, God made flesh, walks out in ways we can’t even begin to fathom or predict. So, if you find yourself struggling as things darken, I would strongly encourage you to reach out. To contact your GP or the NHS (call - 111), to contact friends, to get in touch with the church, to take a moment to pray and ask Jesus for his help & peace.


Rev Gareth Hutchinson