Monthly Letter

1st April 2024 by Becky Reeve, Curate

As I write this I am buoyed up by the glorious sunshine outside my window, and the way that it lights up the plants in my garden and brings out all their colours and patterns. It has been a long winter but finally the sun is back!

This has got me thinking about something Rowan Williams said about how prayer works, and how it is like lying on a beach sunbathing. When you’re lying on the beach, he argues, “something is happening, something that has nothing to do with how you feel or how hard you’re trying. You’re not going to get a better tan by screwing up your eyes and concentrating. You give the time, and that’s it. All you have to do is turn up. And then things change, at their own pace. You simply have to be there where the light can get at you.”

Christians talk about repenting, which can sometimes be taken to mean beating yourself up about being an awful person and then trying through an effort of will to somehow be better, a kind of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. But I think that the kind of repenting that Jesus would have wanted us to do is much more like what Rowan Williams says about prayer. Jesus knows that we can’t change who we are on our own without outside help – after all, if we could there would have been no need for Jesus to come in the first place. He just wants us to keep turning back to God, like sunflowers turning to follow the sun.

He wants us to keep lying in God’s sunshine, to let his sunshine get to us and make changes in us. And God will work through anyone who is open to him – you don’t have to be a Christian; you don’t have to go to church (although I personally think it helps!). Maybe your version of sunbathing is walking the dog in nature, or doing some form of mindfulness, or sitting in your garden, or just a quiet cup of tea. Whether we are religious or not these times are important and help us to reboot and connect into a world which is bigger thanourselves.

So next time you see the sun twinkling outside your window why not take a moment to pause and just be, or better still – get out and enjoy it!