It is wonderful to be back, in person, serving our churches once again. One of the things I have so sorely missed is the singing of our hymns. I know they are not everyone’s favourite part and a lot want us to modernise the hymns in favour of songs, but, being a bit of a traditionalist, I love them.

During lock down one hymn I found myself singing to myself was my mum’s favourite hymn, Amazing Grace, classed as a Christian hymn, it is still for me very inspiring especially when you know the story that inspired it. Written by the slave trader John Newton when he was lost in a storm off the coast of Ireland, fearing he, and his crew, would perish, Newton dropped to his knees and begged God to save them and promising that he would devote his life to God if he did survive*. How many of us do that? I know I have been guilty of bargaining with God when times were tough. 

However, there was another part of this hymn that is not included in the one we know. Newton also wrote this but later edited it out: 

God I am not as I should be,

God I am not as you expect me to be,

But God thank fully I am not as I used to be. 

This for me sums up our principle ETERNAL PROGRESS OPEN TO EVERY HUMAN SOUL.

For it shows us that none of us are perfect, but rather a work in progress, and Spiritualism teaches us that every day we have an opportunity to start our life again, learning hopefully from the day before and growing in the way God wants for us.

Life will always give us storms, we will at times feel we are lost in that storm,

The challenge is to learn from it and grow into stronger more compassionate people that can, in turn, help others who are lost in their storms of life.

Minister Jackie Wright

* John Newton later became an abolitionist and joined a campaign to abolish the African slave trade.