s048o99 SWAD Conference meditation
"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it." (Isaiah 55:10-11).
During my recent holidays we went to Arkaroola, and I was refreshed by this particular word from the prophet Isaiah. For I realised that if the rain and the snow have a purpose, then surely my own existence here in this life has a purpose. And that purpose will not be thwarted - I will not return to the Father without that purpose being accomplished. And the same is true for us all here. None of us will return to our Father without accomplishing the purpose for which we were created - and I hope that you too find a similar refreshment in this sentiment, as I did.
And I suppose the same is true for our Parishes, for our Area Deanery and our Diocese. We will all accomplish the purpose for which we were created. The words that each of us will speak today in our conference have their purpose in the grand design of the Almighty.
Which leads me to focus for a time on that refreshment that I and perhaps some others might feel. Surely this refreshment - this realisation that we are created for a purpose and that that purpose will not be thwarted - is God's will for us and for all.
So we further God's plan as we ourselves see in others - people created for a purpose, obviously a different purpose from ourselves - and communicate to them the assurance that they too will not return to the Father without that purpose being accomplished.
Let us pray, saying together the old form of the Lord's prayer:
Our Father, which art in heaven ...
Father we commend all our deliberations this afternoon to your guidance. Bless those who have come to speak. Give us all eyes and ears to see in others, people created for your purpose, a purpose which will not be thwarted, and so communicate the refreshment of your gospel to all. May we be courteous in discussion, considerate of other people's problems and generous in our decisions, that we may so work in unity that love and joy may abound to your glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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