"Change and decay in all around I see. Oh Thou who changest not abide with me"
Over the last couple of days I have been forced to acknowledge my growing list of frailties! An MRI Scan on Thursday to investigate crumbling knees, was followed up yesterday at the dentist with a further repair on my crumbling molars! Earlier this week, Mike and I had the joy of attending the Manchester diocese clergy conference, and for once, after many years attendance, I didn't feel amongst the youngest there. But whilst time is indeed passing by, I have to say that at least the contents of the conference filled me with hope!
The main subject for our lectures was John's Gospel, presented by a very enthusiastic scholar now in his 70s. He focused on the message of abundance which prevails throughout the gospel, as well as an emphasis on our abiding with Jesus and the Father. Whilst acknowledging that we in Manchester have experienced hard times recently, as indeed mirrored throughout the world (as Herbie expounded on in last week's sermon when pointing out that persecution is as real today as it was for the early followers of Jesus), it was still very much a hope-filled gathering as we looked to the future.
May we (at what ever stage of life we find ourselves in), take pleasure in abiding in God, knowing and enjoying our security is in Him. May we also if able, enjoy abiding with one another as we gather this Sunday for our all age service, together with the lovely prospect of sharing food together afterwards.