Thought for the Month (September 2010)

Happy New Year especially to all the people involved in education. We have had all the advertisements for "Back to School" which makes your heart sink.

September has generally a feeling of starting anew school of course, but winter television schedules cheaper holidays.

I used to attend a wonderful service in Southwark Cathedral for school-leavers from Primary School preparing to go on to into Secondary Education, and we always used to sing Sydney Carter's hymn One More Step Along The World I Go, with its chorus "And it's from the old I travel to the new; keep me travelling along with you".

September often brings new beginnings.

My Bible reading recently was in the book of Lamentations. I had to think where it was. (It's five chapters following the Book of Jeremiah). In Lamentations 3 verses 22 & 23 it says "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. God's love is new every morning and great is His faithfulness".

We all enjoy new experiences and things; that's what holidays are all about and, of course, adding to the wardrobe.

I still enjoy a clean sheet of paper and whisper a little prayer "Help me to do my best". A new notebook is absolute bliss. I write quick notes and shopping lists on the back of cards and I allow myself a scribble, but a new notebook demands thought and care; it's something to be treasured. Precious resources have been used to make it, and it will be precious because of what I am going to write. Perhaps anything new must be treated as precious because of its cost in resources or time and effort.

I remember two new dresses I had for my holiday in the 1940s. I had had pass-me-downs, but two dresses and new!! I realised afterwards that they were made by Mum from her old overalls for hop-picking. One was dark blue and the other brown. Very serviceable but hand-sewn by Mum and trimmed with bias binding around the neck and sleeves. And every stitch showed her love. They may have been recycled but to me they were new, and beautiful, and precious.

I used to sing a hymn which I can't find now "New every morning it's new. The love of God to me is wonderfully new". Whilst we rejoice and thank God for a new opportunity, we have to remember the cost and think how we are going to use it.

Happy New Start to us all in September!

So many opportunities to come, to seek new ways of serving God, as we prepare for Heaven.

Perhaps when we enjoy something new a notebook or a new experience, a view or piece of music, or even a new biscuit, we should remember to thank God for His love, new every morning.

Audrey Mitchell Audrey Mitchell

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Tunbridge Wells United Reformed Church