Richard’s News 9th September 2022

Someone, at some point, decided that it would be a good idea to lay down gravel on the driveway at the New Vicarage in Minsterley. Now in some ways I am all for it; the crunch of the gravel as I pull up in the car is quite satisfying and for a brief moment I can imagine that I am pulling up outside Downton Abbey (with the kids leaping out of the bushes to rake the gravel back into a smooth surface perhaps?), It’s also quite nice to look at – but for one thing. Weeds!!  If you visit, then you are obliged to grab a handful of them either on your way in or your way out; the recent (welcome) rain showers have meant that all those seeds lying dormant in the sunshine have suddenly sprouted and I am forced to be spending time fighting with grass and nettles and dandelions and so on, all with my mother’s voice in my head telling me to “pull them out by the roots dear!” Have you noticed that some just come away in the hand while others require a bit more work to get into the root system?

Of course, there is a natural segue from the never-ending battle of pulling up weeds and trying to uproot the sin that so easily grows and spreads amongst the driveways of our personal life. It is an ongoing battle; it is often a pain and it does sometimes feel to be quite futile. However, like a good dose of weedkiller or the use of a blowtorch the Bible encourages us not to give up hope, to give these matters over to God who by is Holy Spirit we can trust to root out the sins – both easy ones and difficult and so let the writer to the Hebrews encourage us today. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.”

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