What do We do Next?
“1 The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there,
“2 and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration.
“3 The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine….”
(John 2.1-3 New Living Version)
Mary (Miriam) utters five small words – words bursting with meaning! She knows that Jesus can do something about this problem. Mary is full of expectation, and is able, at this point, to step back and let Jesus get on with it. She was a wonderful mother, and here we see her showing herself as the faith-filled disciple that she will be.
From Faith to the Best Faith
When we set out on our tasks for the day, like going to Lidl or the Co-Op, we never think: “But will I really get there? Will I fall down a coal hole on the way and end up in A&E or will a car mount the pavement and squash me flat? What if the bus driver abandons the bus halfway there?” We have an in-built expectation, and even a funny kind of faith that there’s no need to worry – I’ve done this a hundred times before, and it will be fine.
The German vicar Martin Luther talked about two kinds of faith, he used the Latin words FIDELIS and FIDUCIA. Fidelis is when you uphold the creed or believe the Bible tells the truth, but Fiducia is where you exercise trust and get on the bus, confident that it will get you to your destination; when you know what Jesus can do and you trust Him, fully expecting that He will do it.
There must come a time for each of us when our Fidelis moves on and becomes Fiducia; a life of expectation and trust in a Saviour who loves me, and will never let me down.
Expectation – what is it?
The product of hope and faith
We exercise hope and faith based on past events or experiences or based on the understood trustworthiness of an individual. For example, if you are a Christian, you should believe that Jesus will deliver on whatever promises He has made because He has delivered in the past and you consider Him totally reliable because His actions have lined up with His words
A Strong Conviction that Something will Happen
The event is eagerly anticipated; you can even taste the fulfilment or even see the thinking happening in your mind’s eye.
What Could our Vision and Expectation be?
These are exciting times for our Mission. Maybe our vision and expectation could be this:
“The Lowton & Golborne Team Ministry is a family — a place you can call home. It’s where you can find hope, healing, and purpose. Over the years, this family has grown and changed, but one thing will always stay the same: our love for Jesus and for each other. No matter where you are in your spiritual journey, you can be confident that you’re more than welcome in our churches – you’re wanted…..”
The End of an Era
This would only be building on all that Rev. Jonathan has done for the Team churches over many years.
His ministry here has been outstanding, in his love, skill and wisdom; and in sheer application and hard work, manifested in the spiritual progress of the Team churches. I feel like I might be the greatest beneficiary of his time in Lowton & Golborne! Although I have only worked with him over the past three and a half years, I’ve learned so much from him. I came as an infant vicar, with little experience of day-to-day parish work, but he was patient with me, and led me through a whole panoply of different skills. In that time, as I’m sure you too found, he was consistently caring, kind and affectionate and looked after me as my pastor, always questioning me about my own and our family well-being and offering lots of support and encouragement.
(The only thing that got on my nerves was families booking weddings, funerals and baptisms and regularly saying: “We want Rev. Jonathan, not that other vicar”).
I am certain, that this is only the beginning of something very special that the Lord has prepared for Jonathan to do; but he will be hugely missed by all of us. May the Lord continue to make you a blessing to everybody you meet. Amen.