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July 2018

This month’s letter comes from Reader Jan Lees.

The Book of The World

In Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Duke Senior says that he ‘finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.’  It’s a reference to the idea of ‘The Book of the World’ – the belief that God speaks to us through Creation.  And I think that’s true – though if you take it too literally God will sometimes seem to be saying some very strange things…  For example, I don’t think the mating habits of the Black Widow spider should be taken as a pattern for family life.

But the beauty we see around us living in such a place as this and the friendship and support we can find in our communities certainly can be seen as a natural expression of God’s good will, of his desire for our well-being and his whole-hearted commitment to joy in our lives.

The Book of the World is a very useful idea if it helps you find joy – if it helps you identify what makes you feel at peace with yourself and others because those things are everyday blessings.  A cup of tea, a hot shower, the scent and colour of a flower, a view to the sea – all these things that make us feel happy and more open to the world are everyday blessings and we need to make the most of them.

Before I moved here I relished the idea of being able to swim in the sea -conditions permitting – and if I couldn’t swim, then at least I’d see the sea every day.  Now I’m here, I don’t make enough effort to visit the shore.  I’ve not ‘got used to the sea’, but I am in danger of taking my chance to visit it for granted.  I need to sort that out.

The world is full of such wonderful things and such interesting people it’s a shame not to enjoy their company.  We can get so involved in chores and jobs that we forget to savour life.  So, as the summer blossoms round you, don’t forget to be part of it.  Remember, no-one has ever lain on their deathbed and said ‘I wish I’d done more dusting.’

Jan Lees (Reader in Holyford Mission Community)

P.S.     St Andrew’s is at the start of hosting an ongoing art/craft project looking at the world of colour in the cycle of the church year.  Its next few sessions will focus on the idea of ‘The Book of the World’ and the colour green.  If you’re interested in joining us, or want to know more, get in touch.  (01297 551351)

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