Hertford Methodist Church seeks to serve God in Hertford and the wider world through love and fellowship

Ministers Letter

Minister’s musings

I do like watching quiz shows on the TV, from ‘The Chase’, ‘Pointless’, ‘Impossible’ to ‘Only Connect’. Sometimes I even manage to answer the odd question – and I use that word quite purposefully here – on ‘Only Connect’, which feels me with a great sense of achievement. It is perhaps the most complicated and perverse quiz programme, I say that in the nicest sense of course, that I have ever become almost addicted to. I would encourage you, if you never have, to find an episode and discover whether it messes with your brain as it does mine.

Back to my thoughts. I am often in awe at some peoples’ level of knowledge and intellect but then also find myself shouting at the TV in exasperation at others lack of, a I see it, basic and fundamental knowledge. Though naturally I have no idea how I would fair under the pressure of any of these shows – not least facing Anne or Mark on ‘The Chase’. Would every ounce of learned knowledge desert me at just the moment I needed it? And of course, any question is only ever easy if one already knows the answer.

What bothers me about many of these programmes that they have in common is when a contestant is being introduced in the show. In one way of another the same questions is asked, ‘So what do you do? And even if someone replies with the fact that they are now retired, the next question in at least one or two shows is something like, ‘so before you retired? (I would add, this is not the case with ‘Only Connect’. We hear a multitude of interesting and quirky hobbies and tastes that have brought team members together – hoorah to you! 

On a more serious reflection, it feels that so often, TV hosts, and therefore society at large, measures a person’s worth by their profession or job. In essence that what we do, in the area of work is what defines us. 

I would rather a question about what a person enjoys doing, or what inspires them. Yet I am aware that these opening questions are indicative of the society we live in. Society often seems to say to us, in many ways and forms ‘you and your life is only of any value if you are busy doing, and gaining material wealth’, How sad this is.

God does not measure us by what we do, in the worldly sense. He loves us simply for who we are and wants us to live in that love, which frees us to experience and enjoy life in all its fullness.

The Welsh poet, William Henry Davies, wrote these words 

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

It concludes with …

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

I am with him. As a Christian I believe each of us is deeply loved by God, and He longs for us to discover that love for ourselves; to know that we are of value and worth to him, whoever we are and wherever we find ourselves.  We cannot possibly discover this if we are so busy doing that there is no time simply to be. How can we hear the voice of our loving God if it is being drowned out by the constant clamour of the world? 

The purpose of God giving to us a ‘Sabbath Rest’ is that we might pause from all our doing and be; to be still, discover all that is around us, and the One who made it, and us. To discover who we are in Him, uniquely valued and uniquely loved.

If you are still reading this, thank you.  
Give yourself at least a few moments; to rest a while and simply be. And I pray that you will know within that you are of great worth to God and that He loves you deeply, simply for who you are.