a reflection from Revd Jo Purle:
'Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father; there is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not; as Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be'
What an amazing hymn of all time! Published in the early 1900s, this hymn has surely become one of our favourites. Played at weddings, funerals, special occasions and ordinary Sunday services. Based on Scripture, we discover the profound truth that the Lord is steadfast and certain, the same yesterday, today and forever. These truths wrapped up in this glorious hymn have helped many trust in God in the midst of challenging circumstances and dark storms. They have held me in recent weeks too. Unfortunately, I was subject to a nasty scam whilst selling a simple item on Facebook Marketplace. The person messaging me demanded money and when I refused he became aggressive, intimidating and threatening. The police were very supportive, and I am safe, but the capacity of human nature to blackmail an innocent person and dwell in the darkness of the heart greatly disturbed my peace. That is, until the Lord spoke to me through the words of this glorious hymn. There is no shadow side to the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no darkness in Him. There is no impure motive in His heart. He is all light, all truth, all pure beauty, all magnificent holiness. Human beings will let us down from time to time. Even with the best examples of human nature, there is capacity for selfish intentions, mixed agendas, and miscommunication. But with the Lord Jesus we are completely safe in Him – He is trustworthy, unchanging and unwavering, consistently loving and goods towards us. The Apostle James writes, ‘Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows’ (James 1: 17). If you have ever experienced any form of injustice or mistreatment at the hands of another, be assured that in the Lord Jesus Christ you will find a welcome embrace and a pure beauty that will restore your soul. As His messengers in this broken and hurting world, may we who belong to the Ashford Town Parish be bold in our proclamation that He is faithful, there is no shadow of turning with Him, He changest not. Hallelujah!