I’ll get by with a little help from my friends…

I’m starting to feel a good deal better, though I’m far from 100% yet. It’s kinda three steps forward, one step back. I’m amazed by the number of folk who have been helping Katy and I over the last six weeks. 

I’m going to name them all because they’re all troopers, every single one. Alan Dinnie, Seyan Tills, Arthur Glynn, Paul Kerley, Rob Sylvester, Alison Boddington, Tom & Emma Brunton, Wilf Ashburn, Ken Tee, Phillip Luscombe, Mung Hatzaw, Diane Stenning, Mel, Carol Smart, Belinda Walker, Gareth & Jackie House, David & Glynis Coombes, Paul Lanza, Margaret Brunsdon, Anne Tolputt, Rob Prentice, Chris Addison, John McQuarrie, Jim Taylor, Irma Spence, Ewen Blaker, Tim Prater. If I’ve missed anyone, deepest apologies. It’s hard to keep up, folk have been so helpful!

I’ve had lots of cards from other folk too, with encouraging messages. It’s a great song by the Beatles, “I’ll get by with a little help from my friends“. (YouTube clip if you click on the song title). And it’s definitely true. I’m not sure how Katy & I would have managed without the help of so many friends. 

A lot of you who have visited and offered lifts are either church friends or ministerial colleagues. I’ve counted 29 people who have helped us in practical ways or taken the time to visit me, plus more than 20 cards from folk who are, on the whole, less physically able. That kind of help is really amazing. I know I’m one of your ministers but I hope we’re the kind of church that will offer help to all comers. I’ve a hunch one or two might slip by unnoticed though…

But this is what church is about. James said that faith needs to be expressed in practical action to mean anything at all. Jesus says that if you made lots of religious noises but didn’t visit the sick or those in prison, you couldn’t really be said to be following him. So well done folks, you’re doing what Jesus said to do. 

It’s true to say that church is a group of ordinary people who are trying to work out, together, what it means to follow Jesus. Now sometimes that group of ordinary people get things wrong, like getting into arguements or acting selfishly. That’s because we’re ordinary people. But other times? Well. At other times, Church shines with the love of God. 

It’s at times like now that I am so proud (& quirkily humbled) to be a pastor in the church. As this group of ordinary people show themselves to be so much more: a royal priesthood, a holy nation, the bride of Christ, a temple and a loving community. 

On my second innings in hospital, the agnostic guy in the bed next to me saw people from church coming in to see me each day and said, “it’s like being part of a massive family isn’t it?” The church witnessed well that day. 

Absolutely it is family. The apostle Paul said that when one parts suffer, all suffer. When one part is honoured, all are honoured. We are the family of God. 

I may be gushing a little, but it’s true. We get by with a little help from our friends. And sometimes church can be a really powerful group of friends. 

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