St Mary’s Church Coddenham

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From The Rectory – Behold I Do A New Thing

by | May 2, 2024 | Coddenham Church

St Marys Coddenham


In August I will bring to a close almost 50 years of paid employment.  Much though I am looking forward to the next stage of my life, such a significant milestone has encouraged me to look back as well.

For most of my life, change has come gradually; the passing of time barely noticed. Now, I start to realise how different the world looks from the days of my youth. The world around me has changed, have I?

Remember not the former things, behold I will do a new thing’ was God’s message through Isaiah. Yet, the writer to the Hebrews tells us that Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever[2]; puzzled?  Last Sunday’s lectionary included an account from Acts of Philip’s encounter with an unnamed Ethiopian government official.[3]  Clearly a man of faith, he had been to Jerusalem to worship, his brief encounter with Philip was set to change his life forever.  His understanding of scripture was enlarged, he was baptised, he became a Jesus follower.  It might have been ‘All change’; more likely it was the fulfilment of a quest.

Looking back I can see it is not only fashion, or the amount of hair on my head, that has changed over these last 50 years.   My views on many of the great controversies of the age have evolved too.  As experience grows; as I read and discuss God’s words, I realise that what God wants of me, on a daily basis, has changed also.  The steadfast love of the Lord never changes; the translation of that love into the practicalities of daily living is a different matter.

Behold, says the Lord, I do all things new. Our God is a creator God and creation is ongoing. God may not change, his truth is immutable but my understanding of that truth, like my appreciation of his love in action, must continue to evolve as my circumstances and understanding change.  St Paul reminds us that now we see through a glass darkly.[4]   With limited vision comes limited understanding.  As our relationship with God deepens, so too should our understanding.


Rev’d Philip Payne                                         The Notice Sheet for  5 May 24 can be found here.  Holy Communion at St Mary’s at 11.00am this Sunday – 5th May

[1] Isaiah 43:19

[2] Hebrews 13:8

[3] Acts 8: 26-40

[4] 1 Corinthians 13:12


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