Do As We Can

St. Michael’s Vicarage

Dear People of Alnwick,

Holidays dictate that I write this monthly letter further away from the deadline date than is usual. I was reminded, however, that for the July edition of ‘Gateway’, writing only a day or two before the European Referendum, my prophetic powers left something to be desired…

So, by the time you actually read this, who knows what might be happening in our town, our country and our world?

As I sit at my desk writing this letter we are just beginning to take on board the enormity of the shocking terrorist attack in Nice and the increased uncertainty around all that is happening in Turkey.

Our world, our lives – and all that goes on in them – feel much less secure and predictable than was once the case; and respect for the preciousness or sanctity of human life considerably reduced.

Through every generation of history, we read of countless ways in which humanity has devised new and increasingly horrific ways of disregarding this sanctity of life – and, as a result, we quite understandably tend to lose sight of the vast number of unrecorded acts of love and mercy and kindness which, day by day, counteract those things which are negative and evil in our world.

And so the temptation to wallow in negative thoughts about the state of the nations must also be balanced – indeed overcome – by Christian hope and by an unceasing commitment to work, wherever we can, justly and peaceably.

Jane regularly reminds me of a little maxim which is full of truth:

“You cannot do everything: but what you can do you must.”

As we continue to journey “through all the changing scenes of life” we realise that none of us can change our world single-handedly but that should never deter us from doing what we can.

Perhaps, like me, you can remember singing in Sunday School:

“Little drops of water, little grains of sand,
make the mighty ocean and the beauteous land.

Little deeds of kindness, little words of love,
make our earth an Eden, like the heaven above.”

They may sound outdated and sentimental in the harsh light of 2016 but they convey a way of being which help us to understand the work God would have us do in his name and to his glory.

With every blessing,

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