Barclay Viewforth Church congregation on Blackford Hill



A Thought from the Pastoral Associate

The other day I opened my phone and prepared to do my daily bible reading as I do most days at breakfast when suddenly I was faced with a message: “Unable to refresh”. My Bible in One Year readings appear every day on the app and I just have to spend time reading, thinking and praying. On finding this message I realised I wasn’t going to be able to read at that time. I had several attempts to try to get it to load, without any success. The ‘unable to refresh’ message also meant that I was not going to start my day, ‘refreshed’ in the understanding of God’s Word for me that day.

It is in studying the Bible that we can be refreshed, like having an ice cold drink on a hot day. As the coldness of the ice and liquid excite the taste buds, so verses or passages of scripture can excite our minds and our hearts.

Over these last few weeks, as I’ve stepped out in my new role as Pastoral Associate, I’ve become even more aware of the need to be refreshed as I seek, along with the Pastoral Assistants, to bring God’s love and compassion into the homes of our extended church family. How can I bring blessing to others if I am not aware of God’s daily blessing for me?

Yesterday I was privileged to sit at the bed of one of our senior members and, although she was sleeping, I read some verses from Psalm 62:

“Truly my soul finds rest in God;

my salvation comes from Him.

Truly He is my rock and my salvation;

He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”

I’m sure the lady must have heard something as there was a movement of her hand in mines – it may have just been a reflex movement, but I would like to think that even in the stillness of sleep, God’s word can reach out and bring refreshing peace.

As well as finding personal refreshment in our relationship with God, sometimes refreshment comes by being with others – through worship and prayer on Sundays to time spent with friends in our Ministries and Missional Communities. Last night I was able to spend the evening with a large number of our Pastoral Assistants team. I have to say that I felt slightly daunted at first as this team have a wealth of experience and I was frightened that I might be ‘teaching my grandmother to suck eggs’. However their warmth, and the love and compassion that they have for the people they visit is truly refreshing. They truly model the example Jesus gave as he sent his disciples out to serve others as he had done, saying, “Go and do likewise”. I’m really looking forward to working with this team as we grow and learn together and seek refreshment in the Father’s arms.

The challenge for all of us, especially in the midst of busy lives, is to make time and space to be refreshed in God. If our lives become overloaded with ‘stuff’ we may come to a point where “unable to refresh” is the norm as God is crowded out.

Jeremiah 31:25 says, “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”

Praying that you will all be refreshed by:

the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ,

the love of God

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.


with love in Christ,



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