A MESSAGE FOR THIS MONTH
Sometimes life comes close to overwhelming us. Hopefully only sometimes.
Too much to do and too little time in which to do it. Too much clamouring noise or too many confusing messages.
Children or grandchildren to care for. Elderly parents who need attention. Too easily we can become stressed with responsibilities.
And money. What about an imbalance between income and expenditure.
The demands of work and yes, yes indeed, the demands of retirement.
Sometimes stress and anxiety are added to because those close to us are themselves too busy to notice or too stressed themselves to care about us. We ask ourselves, “How can we cope?”
Realistically and biblically, here is one suggestion. “KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON.”
In the days leading up to World War 2, the government commissioned a series of posters. The idea was to capture encouraging slogans.
Capital letters in a distinct typeface. A simple two-colour format selected. The only graphic was the crown of King George V1.
The first poster was distributed in September 1939 and it read, “Your courage, your cheerfulness, your resolution will bring us victory.”
Soon afterwards, a second poster was produced and appeared on railway platforms and in pubs, shops and restaurants – “Freedom is in peril. Defend it with all your might.”
A third poster was created but never saw the light of day until the late 1990’s. More than 2.5 million copies were printed but were only discovered more than fifty years after the war ended. Discovered in a box of miscellany purchased at an auction in north-east England.
“KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON”
It had never been used in war time, but in many ways and on many formats it is now almost impossible not to see it in many retail units. Designed in war time ad uncovered years later but in a sense authored two thousand years before by St. Paul. He encouraged his listeners and sought to de-stress them when he urged his congregation or his audience, “To continue in the grace of God” (Acts 13 v 43). In our vernacular, “Keep calm and carry on.”
Carry on. In and for the church. Living by the truths of the Bible. Nourishing and being nourished by fellow Christians.
Celebrating the holy sacraments of baptism and communion. In other words, continuing to be devoted to and loyal to our Saviour and Lord, Jesus himself and living a life of greater calm by the power and influence of the Holy Spirit.
In the words of St Paul, “Continue in the grace of God.”
I commend it to you.
Your pastor and teacher,