Andrew Fox of Clay Cross, Derbyshire, England
My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. -Galatians 6:1-2
Albert was the local fish-and-chip shop owner. Every Saturday evening he would wash out the inside of his fish van so that Sunday morning he could use it to collect and transport children from nearby to Sunday school.
Albert was the treasurer of the Sunday School Union, a group that arranged ecumenical events each year, bringing together the Christians of the town. Every year Albert would proudly lead the Pentecost procession of adults, children, brass bands, and decorated trucks as we professed our Christian witness to the crowds of people who came out to watch.
Albert was my Sunday school teacher when I was a teenager. Each week he would sit down at the table with the small group of teenagers he had been challenged to teach. He would start by emptying his briefcase of all of the books he had used that week to prepare our class. Rarely did we discuss any of the class materials he had prepared. Generally, within minutes, Albert would start to share one of the testimonies of his life and how he found Jesus. We heard those stories many times over, but I still remember most of them to this day.
Albert was my pastor. He was not a gifted speaker, but he spoke with passion. Usually his wife, Elsie, would sit on the front row. When Albert lost his place in his sermon notes, she would prompt him from where she sat. I don’t remember much of what Albert preached, but I do remember the many occasions on which he declared, “God has planted his church here in Clay Cross for a reason.” He believed this completely, and each time he spoke, he made it clear that we were not here by chance. We were here because God had a purpose for us to fulfill in the town where we lived.
Albert was just one of the many wonderful, dedicated people who were part of my early church life. They nurtured me; they helped shape my faith, and for that I am eternally grateful.
God is here today. (“Dios est\xc3\xa1 aqu\xc3\xad” CCS 150)
Breathing in the Spirit
Find a comfortable but alert position and begin to breathe deeply. With each breath, feel yourself relax, releasing anything that feels constricting. Imagine that each breath is the wind of the Spirit moving through your being, stirring up what is most alive in you. Relax into the flow of the Spirit and notice what awareness or invitation emerges.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.