5 minutes with Jess ...
Tell us a little about you
I’m a wife, a mum of a 5 & 2.5 year old, I live beside my church and help organise our community life, and I’m involved in a organisation called Common Grace - a new movement of Christians passionate about Jesus and justice. Life is very full but I love every piece.
What's your favourite bible passage/concept & why?
I love the refrain ‘for who is God besides the Lord’ (Ps 18, 2 Sam 22). I find it such a powerful thought that there simply is no one and no thing that comes anything close to being ‘God’. And then I love Philippians 2 and the way we discover in Jesus more about the identity of the Lord. I grew up in a church with a ‘high’ liturgical practice and God was very mysterious and big and beautiful and I think this concept of there being no other but the Lord who we learn of through Israel’s story and then in the Lord Jesus is central to my faith. As the disciples say 'Where else have we to go, when you alone have words of eternal life?’ (John 6:68).
How do you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus?
At every stage of life, I would give a different answer. At the moment, I am loving the ‘pray-as-you-go’ podcasts which I listen to each day, it’s a ministry of the Jesuits in Britain. It’s a free daily podcast that reads the lectionary reading for the day to you, asks you thoughtful questions, leads you to pray, and uses thought-provoking music. I’m really finding it sends me to Jesus and into prayer and is working for this busy season! (http://www.pray-as-you-go.org)
What would you like the next generation of Christian women to know?
I am convinced that the world’s climate is changing dramatically and I think that the future is likely to be more challenging and disruptive than the period I have lived in (though I am praying this will not be the case). As a result, I think it’s going to be imperative for the next generation of Christian women to not give way to fear but to know that God is enough and in him we have abundance, that we can cast our cares on him and that he cares for us (1 Pe 5:7) and that life is at its best when we’re loving God and our neighbours in service.
What's one thing that you love about your local church?
Being part of a great team of people who are rigorously wrestling with what it means to be a Christian in our world today and seeking to engage with both ideas (political, ethical, cultural) and real local people. It’s lovely doing life together with others.
What did you learn about God at a time in your life you found hard?
God can be trusted. He is so faithful. He is gentle, he works with you, he takes you where you can get to at a time. He is patient. He is not silent. He is present in pain. He strengthens. His people are his hands and feet and love. He will be with you in each day. He is enough.
What are you passionate about?
I love seeing great ideas come to reality, turning words into activity.
I’m passionate about wrestling with the fact that life does not consist in the abundance of possessions (Lk 12:15)
I’m passionate about my little lawn of various creeping grasses and native plants
I love seeing my children grow and discover the world around them
I love that my husband is super excited about bees.
How do you rest?
I love a lazy afternoon reading on my little patch of lawn on a picnic rug in the dappled sun