Dear Friends, Derbyshire, like all the places we have lived during my time as a Methodist minister, is a long way from the sea, and we miss it. That is probably why when we go on holiday we like visiting coastal Scotland and the islands in particular. Scotland has more than 10,000 miles of coastline so you are never too far from the sea.
This year 2 of the places we stayed at where very close to the sea. At one on the Isle of Skye the sea was literally at the bottom of the garden and could be viewed from the large floor to ceiling window in the lounge or in the bedroom. What a wonderful view lay before us to contemplate and enjoy. Part of that scene was made up of a seemingly unchanging landscape comprising rocks and hills that had been formed millions of years ago but another part was constantly changing. The tide came in and went out again, clouds came and went, mist descended and glorious sunshine broke through, sometimes all in the space of half an hour. On the foreshore the wading birds moved and altered their activity according to the changes taking place around them as the sea filled the bay and then retreated. This seemingly unchanging place was in reality a place of constant change.
Looking at those views was to be reminded that change is an inevitable part of living for all of us. Nothing does or can stay the same. The purpose of life is to change and grow. Change is at the heart of how God made the world to be, we are born, we grow and develop, we hopefully grow both older and wiser and at some point we die. But even as we experience all those changes we can discover, “Jesus Christ who is the same yesterday and today and for ever” (Hebrews 13, verse 8) who promises to journeys with us through all of life and death.
To return to our holiday Marian, my wife, enjoys taking photographs and so we have come home with lots of them and each captures a moment in time that cannot be repeated. We do however plan to return to Scotland next year to have more unrepeatable moments! As we do so we can also recall those experiences of God we have had which will not be repeated in the same way but which enable us to trust to God for our constantly changing future.
God bless Phil (Reverend Phil Taylor)