News from the Team
Revd Paul Kerley
SEBA Regional Minister
Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale? Who is able to advise the Spirit of the LORD? Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him? Has the LORD ever needed anyone’s advice? Does he need instruction about what is good? Did someone teach him what is right or show him the path of justice? No, for all the nations of the world are but a drop in the bucket. They are nothing more than dust on the scales. He picks up the whole earth as though it were a grain of sand. (Isaiah 40:12-15. NLT)
Whenever Pam and I go to our local beach it still never ceases to amaze me how many pebbles and grains of sand there are below my feet. Then at night times in our garden, when I look up to the skies, I see the amazing sight of just a few of the stars in our universe. How many stones, grains of sand and stars? No one knows! We can guess and get computers to try and work it out, but at the end of the day no one knows. The numbers just seem too great for us to even start to comprehend, and we just give up trying.
In Isaiah (40:12-15) the prophet was speaking to a people who, after years of exile in Babylon, were doubting God. They thought that God was unable or unwilling to help them anymore. They felt powerless, defeated and with no hope of a bright future again – they were simply giving up. What did Isaiah encourage them to do? He encouraged them to look below, around and above themselves and take a fresh look at God. God would forgive them; he would renew their strength and he would restore their hope again.
I sense that today in SEBA many of us pastors and our churches need to raise our sights and look afresh to God again. With our churches coming out of Covid lockdowns and other restrictions some pastors are finding things tough going with reduced numbers in their Sunday congregations, less people willing or able to take an active part in church life, financial concerns and ministers and church leaders wearisome of trying to maintain ministry in unfamiliar and challenging ways over the past 18 months or so.
Likewise, within SEBA we are also addressing several key areas including finances, the advertising and appointment of a new Regional Team Leader over the coming months as well as seeking to continually support, in a variety of different ways, our ministers within our four counties.
Times are tough but God, I believe, would say to all of us through Isaiah the prophet and elsewhere, look to me afresh. Indeed, Isaiah later in this chapter goes on to say “But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint”. Then into the New Testament Jesus says to us.. “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” Matthew 11:28-30.
A prayer - Father God, forgive my small vision of who you are, what you have done and what you want to do in and through me today. Restore to me a fresh picture of who you are and may that sustain and inspire me today. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN