July 23rd – Geoff Roberts


 Reports, Sports Day…school holidays…and then Detonate which is an amazing opportunity to share the good news of what we believe with 300 or so young people…and have lots of fun…and get very messy. I will be helping out again this year and will stand in awe at the dedication of so many people in putting this all together. I have heard the history of how it started off as a small scale ‘open’ event on the Common and how it has impacted on many people’s lives: from the children who attended to the young people and adults who worked as helpers. As a child I never went to anything like Detonate, never to any summer camps…in fact, I was very much a loner who spent most of my holiday time reading or, on the annual trip to Golden Sands Holiday Camp in Rhyl, constructing ever more complicated sand castles and moats and then watching them get washed away by the waves. It was, indeed, a different age….

And, for those of a certain age…Julie and I are fans of the Francis Durbridge books and radio series, the Paul Temple mysteries. They keep repeating them on Radio 4 Extra…gentle, dated shows where the favourite (actually, only!) exclamation uttered by the ‘star’, Paul Temple is ‘By Timothy”. As I said, a gentler age when swearing on the radio just did not happen.

This was all called to mind as I was thinking about the sermon series we have enjoyed at the 18.30 service, when we have gone through Paul’s first letter to Timothy, and about the study we have been following in the Home Group on Paul’s second letter. It struck me that the ‘By Timothy’ exclamation could be a good memory jogger. Last week David spoke on the first part of Chapter 6 and highlighted the key verse 6:

But godliness with contentment is great gain

and also the somber truth of verse 7:

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.

The end of the chapter, verse 17, then goes on to remind us:

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.

ContentmentTimothy had been given a clear message to share. I remember J John telling the story of a gathering in Cyprus after his father’s funeral when a nosey neighbour asked if his father had left anything, to which the inspired reply came ‘He left everything’. Our legacy individually and collectively needs to be the joy of people learning more of Christ, learning that He is the source of contentment and peace in our hearts. So, roll on the holidays and the time to relax, learn and share together. A time to build castles not of sand that the waves will wash away…but of faith that is grounded on the truth that God loves us and is the only one in whom we can put our absolute trust.


Geoff Roberts