It’s exam time again — at least as I write this letter. Good luck to all our young people across our three villages and beyond as they sit them. The idea of exams throws up all sorts of reactions in people, from fear and dread through to a sense of completion, or satisfaction of a job well done. For those further on in their life and work, we, of course, have appraisals and audits, the completion of projects and the like which take their place.
I want to write a little about a different type of examination that we can make, an examination that has a very different character to it, and which for many hundreds of years has been a part of the christian tradition. This is where, at the end of each day, we reflect on what has happened in our day and our part in it. We reflect and then tell God both where it has gone well and gone wrong, reinforcing that which has gone well, and working out how best to make amends for when it has gone wrong, receiving God’s forgiveness and moving on.
This daily examination helps us to keep short accounts with God, as well as with each other, and encourages us to live a live that is full of forgiveness and hope. It is not that we are examined by God and found wanting — it is much more that we put aside what gets in the way and press on.
To those of you who are taking exams, remember that they only test one thing about you — they never define you: you are all far more precious than that.
Yours as ever