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Viewpoint from Rev Canon Nick Garrard 03/03/2017 

NICK GARRARDRevd Canon Nick Garrard
Rector, Broadside Benefice (Ranworth with Panxworth, South Walsham and Upton and Fishley, Woodbastwick) and Rural Dean of Blofield

also published in the Yarmouth Mercury

Recently our family went on a birdwatching holiday in Lancashire. We usually see something new – this time it was a pair of great white egrets. They really are great, bigger than the grey heron, Britain’s biggest bird
One thing we didn’t see, it was happening nearby every day, was a murmuration. In case you’re not a birdwatcher, I’d better explain that a murmuration is a gigantic flock of birds, often starlings, gathering at dusk, rising up as a large, twisting cloud, before settling to roost for the night. It’s one of winter’s great sights, and if you’re not in the driving seat, you can often view this from the Acle Straight

dove leftThese massive gatherings of birds remind me how abundant God’s creation is. He made a vast universe, and our planet which teems with life. We know more about the moon than earth’s deepest oceans
In the Bible’s first chapter, God looks at everything he made and sees that it is good. At times, we see this goodness for ourselves. We see nature’s bounty, but also experience scarcity in our lives. Hardly a day goes by when we hear of famine in other lands and shortages closer by, in the Prison Service, NHS and Social Care. The Foodbank is needed more than ever
Dove rightScarcity leads quickly to anxiety. When we’re running short, we start to think, ‘What if…?’ It’s hard not to worry about how we manage in the present, let alone the future. But Jesus taught his followers to challenge their anxieties: "do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" (Matthew 6)
Worrying doesn’t help. Jesus asks, “can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?” Instead, he urged them to shift their focus towards following him and building up his kingdom on earth, trusting God to meet our needs
 Even if we choose not to do this, it’s helpful to remember that beyond our problems there is always a bigger picture. We are not defined by our anxieties. We are more than our needs

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