24th April 2023

“How good and pleasant it is for (Christians) to live together in harmony”.

We lived out these words in the Baptist Union Retreat Group at our Holland House retreat. Our theme was ‘Abide in Me’ based on Jesus’ invitation in John’s gospel, especially on “I am the Vine, you are the branches”, and the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians, chapter 5. All these: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are shown and practised in relationships. We relate to one another because we are all abiding in Jesus and we show these qualities in how we treat one another. Other people we meet or have contact with, we try to act lovingly, patiently, peaceably, kindly, etc. towards, and thank them for acting in the same way to us.

In retreat we kept silence for much of the time but the peace and harmony amongst us shone through, peace you could breathe in as we served one another, ate together in quiet and worshipped together in Chapel. People showed particular kindness to me in fetching cups of coffee, carrying plates, opening doors, while patiently allowing me to do what I could at my own slow pace.

Thankyou, Lord, for all the people who do good to us and all the opportunities we have to do good to everyone, near and far with whom we have any sort of contact. Give us insight to see these opportunities and energy to act on them, using them for You in Your strength.

Lesley Fuller