Minister's Musings & Thoughts

April 2024 Musings

Look up!!

I thought it was time for us to move on from 'Thoughts' to Musings so bear with me.

I would like to share with you a recent experience. On Easter Sunday, after the morning service, I and my daughter travelled to the coastal town of Skegness, to be more accurate to the Butlin's site at Skegness. We have been twice now and have still not seen anything of the coastline there.

Why, I hear you ask, would you want to go to Skegness, at Easter , when Easter was early anyway? Taking into account the weather, mainly rain and wind, that is a valid question.

The answer is Spring Harvest, some of you will no doubt have heard of it, may even have experienced it. Spring Harvest is a Christian festival of music, teaching and activities usually found at a Butlin's site, suitable for old, young and anything in-between.

Each year has a theme. 2023 was 'The upside down Kingdom', this year, 2024 was based on the book of Ephesians in the New Testament, and was entitled 'Up and Alive'.

The teaching throughout the week came under catchy headings of

  • Look up!  We need to look up and discover or re discover how big God and powerful our God is.
  • Wake up! We need to wake up to who we are and can be in Christ
  • Dress up! We need to wear the right spiritual clothes, spiritual armour.
  • Stand up! We need to learn to leave our comfort zone, to be willing to stand firm for Jesus
  • Rise up! As church we need to rise up and show God’s ways to the world.

The letter to the Ephesians was written as a circular to Christian believers living in and around Ephesus. Written by Paul, it consists of 6 chapters full of teaching and was written whilst he was in prison, or at least house arrest in Rome. Ephesus was an important city situated in what we know as the area of southwestern Turkey. Ephesus was the capital of the Roman Province of Asia, it had marble streets, enormous buildings , an amphitheatre capable of seating 24,000 people and was  a major sea port. This was not some provincial town but a place of major importance. All roads in the province led here, many different nationalities and cultures passed through or lived there. Population of around 25,000. The city had a huge library, a city council with government buildings , a banking system , it was a wealthy city where some had a  central heating systems and water fountains in the grounds.

It was a free city with no immediate Roman presence, it was ultimately answerable to Rome but was allowed a large amount of independence, it was self governing, could set it’s own laws and had no Roman garrison, it was a place of refuge from Rome.

Just outside of Ephesus was the marble Temple of Artemis, or Diana, it was considered to be one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world and people would travel for miles to see it  and to worship there.

This city is where Paul went, according to  Acts, to talk about Jesus, this is where he lived for around 2 years.

So why does Paul write this particular letter? Usually when Paul writes his purpose is to tackle issues which have arisen within a body of Christians. This letter though is one of encouragement and is more general in its focus.

Paul wants his readers, including us, to have some awareness of who God is and what that means for us as his chosen followers. It is easy to become focussed on what is happening around us and to us,  and be overwhelmed by problems and circumstances. Problems can  seem to grow huge and  we can feel insignificant and powerless, the more we focus on a problem the larger it can become. If, however we lift our eyes and focus, not on the problem but on God, the problem and circumstances grow less significant.

Paul writes that we have been adopted into the family of God, indeed we have become his children, he wants us to understand what our new status is, we are children of a God who created our world, who is eternal and unchanging AND who loves us, each one.

That, I would suggest, is something worth pondering and musing on, isn't it?

Rev'd Chris

Archived Minister's Musings & Thoughts

Musings and thoughts are archived after around three months and can be found on the pages linked below.