Rev John's February Jottings

26 Jan 19

Are you standing on solid ground?!

When you live in a village in the English countryside there’s always something missing that you will always find in a large town or city – it’s skyscrapers.  Have you noticed there is often much rivalry around the world to build the tallest skyscraper.  Many people these days enjoy visiting cities that have some of the highest ones in the world, for example in New York, Hong Kong or Dubai.  It must be admitted, they are an incredible feat of humankind’s ability to design, engineer and construct such monumental structures, often against difficult climatic and natural conditions.  They must rank as one of the greatest wonders of the modern world.

A skyscraper reminds me of the story of a tall building that started to have cracks appearing on the outside. The owners immediately got some engineers and other experts to find out what the problem was. For a month, the senior executive of the building came in every day to see if any progress was being made. He wondered what the experts were doing as they never seemed to be visibly working on the cracks.   In exasperation he got his maintenance director to report on where they where.  A message came back to say that the experts were working down in the lowest basement because that is where the problem lay - not with what could be seen but with the foundations!

In the Bible we can read about a parable Jesus told of a wise and foolish man.  The story ended with Jesus saying, “The foolish man built his house upon the sand, the wise man built his house upon a rock.  When the storms came, the house on the sand collapsed.”

This is a sober thought when we consider the state of the world and our nation today with the economic, political and social turmoil at this time of history.  What about your own life? As individuals, what is the foundation of your lives built upon?  When storms or trouble comes, do cracks start appearing?  Or is your life built on The Solid Rock which the Bible speaks of in Psalm 46? 
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
Without strong spiritual foundations we may well be walking on sand.  Don’t be fooled by what you see on the outside – no matter how wonderful it may look.
With best wishes
Rev John

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Rev. John Langlands

 It is with great pleasure that I would like to welcome you to St Laurence.  Frances, my wife, and I have received a very warm welcome ourselves, so you will not be disappointed when you visit St Laurence.  I am also the vicar of the other churches in Ansley and Arley – St John’s, St Michael’s and St Wilfrid’s.

Being in a rural and farming area in the north part of Coventry Diocese is like coming home for us.  A number of years ago I pastored a church in rural Norfolk which was mainly surrounded by arable farms with some pigs and chickens.  The strong sense of community life was something very special.  This should be particularly valued in these days when many folk live such individual, separate and often lonely lives. 

We have just had hot off the press a visiting card which I hope reflects what our church stands for: ‘You will not walk alone.  Together we are with you on life’s journey’.  Over these next weeks, months and years, I hope we can get to know you better and that you will find Frances and myself not just ‘churchy’ people but friends as well, who enjoy life and plenty of laughter!