Vicar's Viewpoint January 2019



If only I lived somewhere else, or in another period of history!’Some say when they are discontented with their life and circumstances. Perhaps you wonder what your life would have been like if you were born somewhere else, had a different family, genes, gifts and talents. Some also would like to be taller, slimmer, more beautiful or could live a different life and lifestyle. Others feel guilty because of the wonderful ‘hand’ which it seems that God has dealt them with opportunities, good health, sufficient income and nurturing relationships. How come that some have it so good while others struggle with little hope for the future? Somehow it does not seem fair.


‘From those to whom much is given, much is required’. ‘Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.’The parable of the talents told by Jesus reminds us of the challenge to each of us to make the most of what we have been given, for our own sake and for the good of others also.


Some years ago, we were called to go and live in a run-down Inner City area of Birmingham, with derelict streets, huge rubbish dumps and a strongly multi-cultural community but mainly rural villagers from Kashmir who had been offered a home in the UK when their land was taken to build a dam. Our Bishop said not to stay more than 5 years and the church had 4 Vicars in 10 years as none had stayed long. Someone gave us a poster which we kept in a small room in the Vicarage ‘Blossom where you’re planted’and that is what we sought to do. We stayed 18 years and loved the people and saw the renewal of the housing, the park and many people and after we left even the old Victorian Church was replaced (courtesy of a Hurricane) with a brand new 2-story Mission Centre Church.


May you thrive, flourish, blossom, be blessed wherever God plants you. Take root there and ‘Seek the welfare of the place where I have sent you. For if it flourishes, so you also will flourish’. These were the words of Jeremiah in a letter to the Jewish exiles in Babylon, found in Chapter 29. ‘I have given you a future and a hope…’.  


What could this mean for us in East Devon? Fruitful harvests, healthy families, wonderful community spirit, no one in need, all finding fulfilment and joy in living, both the old and the young feeling valued and appreciated’, no one overworked or underworked; time for friendships, conversation, love and wholeness. In a word ‘Shalom’– the wonderful Hebrew word which we often translate as Peace, but it means much more than absence of strife or conflict but a true flourishing, blossoming and nurturing of a whole and holy lifestyle. How does this happen?Sow seeds of the Holy Spirit; Allow the Lord Jesus to plant you where He chooses; Wait for the harvest, do not give up. 

As you have opportunity, do GOOD to all people, for in due season you will reap a HARVEST, if you do not give up.’Galatians 6v9



Simon Holloway