All Saints Oving

Vicar’s April Message 2024

Dear friends,

I had an interesting experience a couple of weeks back and I’m convinced I was given a message from God to the village! No, I’m not insane or past it – I really believe that something remarkable has happened.

Let me explain.

Most Tuesday mornings I meet with the Schorne Team clergy – these represent the eleven churches we have in our team of villages around us. We meet to catch up on news and say some prayers together. On this particular morning, Janet, in whose home we were meeting, shared with us a Bible verse that meant a lot to her. It was Jeremiah chapter 29 verse 11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

What she could not know was that under my woollen jumper I was wearing a T-shirt with that Bible verse written on it in BIG letters! I lifted my jumper to reveal the verse. Just coincidence you might think. However, the following evening somebody shared in our Lent Group at the Rectory that a Bible verse had meant so much to them over the last few years since their husband sadly died. She held up a postcard with the same Bible verse written on it – Jeremiah 29:11. I lifted my jumper again to reveal the T-shirt.

But that wasn’t it. The next morning, Sarah and I were listening to our daily devotional prayer and Bible reading APP, Lectio 365, and the speaker quoted the verse again – Jeremiah 29:11. Three completely unrelated incidents over three consecutive days, all highlighting the same verse. I came to the conclusion God might want to say something to me!

But that’s not all.

On that Wednesday evening at our Lent Group, we were reading the story about Jesus calming the storm from the fisherman’s boat on the sea – it’s in the Gospel of Mark chapter 4. The next evening, I was upstairs and heard an almighty crash. I thought somebody was breaking into the house. Molly, our German Shepherd, was startled too. As I came down the stairs, the large picture we have hanging on the wall, with a large glass pane covering it, had crashed to the floor – but it was standing upright and the glass and fragile wooden frame were not damaged at all. The picture is by John Hamilton and is called, “Master Of The Storms.” It’s depicts a scene with Jesus standing in the boat on a stormy sea, calming the storm. Mark chapter 4.

The message of hope from Jeremiah and the message of peace in the storm from Mark’s gospel is not just for me! I’m convinced this story of hope is for all of us if we will grasp it.

God bless all

Steve