This week I had a ‘first’ happen to me… we all have lots of memories of our firsts, proud moment when we, or some other person dear to us achieves something, first steps, first day at school, first kiss, etc . Well, I had my first … ‘I forgot to bring my child’ experience this week!
How could you Dawn I hear you say ... yes I know ... it wasn’t good arriving at our destination without one child! To say the least I was panicked and horrified!
You see this is what happened … I had a plan – we were late for Rosie’s best friends party so I came up with a plan ….if I can quickly ditch Amelia and Luke at my Mum and Dads, then I can have a very much needed quick chat with the other mums at the start of the party… Ummm if I get rid of the bouncing tigger (you can guess which child I am referring to here), they won’t start bouncing through someone else’s house destroying the delicately placed party food and I will be able to hold a conversation.
So I pulled up outside my parents house and shouted "Luke, Amelia, go on jump out, just run into Nana's and Gandie's house for a min, they won't mind. I’ll drop Rosie off at her friend's party and come back for you ... go on Luke out you go .. Amelia .. Amelia … AMELIA will you get out of this car and go…go… go. WE ARE LATE!
I look around and to my horror .. no Amelia .. oh heck, I’ve lost her … forgotten her ... I’ve left her at home completely by mistake with no Dad in the house, she’s not old enough to be left alone!!! How can I miss a child, I don’t know!
So I throw the youngest at my mother and race off to drive back to my house to see where I had misplaced Amelia! The drive home consisted of me interrogating Rosie. "Rosie, why didn’t you tell me Amelia wasn't in the car? How could you let me leave her? You knew daddy wasn’t home", (absconding and omission of responsibility I know). "I didn’t know mummy, I didn’t know daddy was out", replied Rosie … the none comedy, comedy moment continued to unfold as I tried to blamed Rosie (who is 8 by the way) for not remembering her sister…
Terrible parenting, I know… how could I miss something so precious as my own child?
It struck me that during this time of lock down how often I’ve forgotten precious things, …. Watching online church this week we were given a virtual tour of what the new Co-vid safe layout looks like and I was reminded that it's been such a long time since I set foot in the HT building, it feels as if I have almost forgotten what its like in there! Thankfully we all know that what the building looks like is like is not too an important thing, but what is important is the people within it.
So, in all that we do forget in life, I’m so glad that we have not forgotten each other. Through this time we have, in Jesus' words, looked after each other.
Acts 20 v 28 ‘keep watch over yourselves and all the flock (church members) of which the Holy spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood’
I’m so glad that we are now presented with an opportunity of being able to meet together again. So thankful, that in this strange time, church as we know it has developed and grown and risen to the task. I’m sure you agree we have come a long way in a short space of time. Of course, we have ways in which to develop further (and we are working on it!). Most importantly, as a body of God’s people, we have held on to what is most precious, our faith in Jesus Christ and each other.
I want to encourage and remind you today, not to forget each other as we continue to walk this unknown road towards a new normal. To remind you that we are a group of people who God has placed together in unity for moments like this. We all have complex needs and complex strengths, to be thoughtful and to celebrate all that we are to each other. To remember all the kind acts and deeds that we have seen and been part of this last 6 months … and to not stop now, to keep what is precious active, to keep calling each other up, to keep attending the small groups, to keep keeping an eye out for each other. To not forget anyone or God in our rush to reconnect with the world as it opens up again.
I want to thank the leadership for guiding us all and providing so many new and unique opportunities to help us to engage with each other. Thank them, that they lead us thoughtfully, prayerfully through this spiritual journey, navigating many things that are unseen to us. I want to thank the Youth Team for working so hard to keep youth online fresh and exciting for our youth. To thank the Worship team for leading us into Gods presence in extremely difficult technical circumstances and to thank the Office Staff for seeing to the masses, all the detail that makes the cogs in the machine work and everyone else who has helped, however big all small your task.
Finally I want to thank you, my wonderful church for being just who you are, a positive, caring, vibrant and thoughtful bunch of Jesus reflecting missionaries to everyone outside and inside our virtual building!