Take Care of Yourself – 3

I nearly didn’t write this piece this week – I just didn’t have the energy or motivation… Just as well I did, though, as I needed to take heed of what it is saying.

The second chapter of the book we are following in this short series, Pablo Martinez’ Take care of yourself (Hendrickson) talks about what he refers to as the empty pool syndrome, what happens when, over time, the energy we give out is not compensated by an equivalent input.

Photo by erfan rahmani on Unsplash

Not all roles require the same amount of emotional, spiritual, physical or mental output, but some require a lot of self-giving. What about the roles you take on? How much self-giving do you do? Remember the story of Jesus and the needy woman who touched his cloak from the crowd? “Someone has touched me. I know that power has gone out from me,” he said. (Luke 8:46) In ministry of any kind “no real lasting good can be done without the outgoing of power” said Oswald Sanders in his book, Spiritual Leadership.

So, if we want to have sufficient energy to sustain our ministry and our engagement with people, whatever form it may take, we need to ensure that our output is balanced by an equivalent input, otherwise we will end up empty (burnt out).

“The Lord will guide you always. He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” (Isaiah 58:11) Notice the order in this wonderful verse – first we have to be well-watered, then we will be able to be a spring of water for others to be refreshed by. So why are we often so stupid to think that we are omnipotent and capable of running on empty? How stupid we are, how arrogant!

How do I know when the pool is becoming empty? How will I recognise when the garden is not getting the water it needs?

This is a good question to ask ourselves regularly because, as we know, prevention is better and much easier than cure. We need to spot the warning signs as soon as possible so we can take action in good time. So what are the signals to look out for?

Martinez uses the examples of Moses and Elijah to help us understand. How marvellous that God, through the Bible, provides these giants of the faith as examples of those who experienced exhaustion! James describes them as “of like nature with ourselves” (James 5:17) and Elijah as “an example of suffering and patience” for us to learn from. (James 5:10)

Why did they become so exhausted?

In the case of Moses it was years of dealing with “stiff-necked people” (Deuteronomy 9:6, 13) who spent a lot of time whinging and complaining to their leader. “I cannot carry all these people by myself, the burden is too heavy for me,” he cried out to God. (Numbers 11:14)

Elijah, showing great courage and determination in his victory over the prophets of Baal, then “crashed”, fleeing in terror, exhausted and worn down. (1 Kings 19:1-18)

Here are the warning signals Martinez describes, which progress one to the other as our condition worsens if left unheeded – a reminder, once again, that we are better to deal with exhaustion as it starts rather than letting it take hold.

  1. Irritability and impatience, hypersensitivity, harsh words especially to those living with you, feeling easily hurt, responding too quickly and rudely, inability to relax – all these are signs that you are over tired. A change in your character that lasts more than a few days should be taken as a warning.

    Ah…just a minute…I think I recognise a lot of this… How about you?

    Think back to our two Biblical examples. Moses, despite being referred to as the most meek of men (Numbers 12:3), once struck the rock instead of speaking to it as God had told him to and on another occasion he smashed the tablets of the law into pieces when he saw the people’s idolatry. As well as displaying anger, Moses also became resentful and bitter, blaming others, including God. “Why have you brought this trouble on me? What have I done to displease you, that you dump these people on me? If this is how you are going to treat me, go right ahead and finish me off right now!” (Numbers 11:11, 15 – my paraphrase.) Meanwhile, Elijah went off, desperate to get away from everyone and go into isolation (1 Kings 19:3-4).

  2. Sleep problems and problems with thinking, such as struggling to make decisions, racing thoughts or inability to concentrate, are signs that your mind and body are under stress. So are changes in appetite or not eating properly.

    Note God’s response to this situation in Elijah. “The angel of the Lord came…and touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.’ ” (1 Kings 19:7) God knows what we need, even when it is as simple as a good meal or a good night’s sleep (1 Kings 19:5, 6).

  3. Low energy, apathy, fatigue, lack of motivation for everyday tasks and work, inability to look forward to events or experience pleasure, lack of enthusiasm for future projects – these are all serious signs of exhaustion. Nothing seems worth it and a sort of Ecclesiastes spirit permeates your attitude – “Everything is meaningless. It’s all chasing after the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 2:11) “I give up. I can’t go on…” All these are signs that things are serious and depression may set in.

  4. Distorted thoughts, pessimism and hopelessness. Serious exhaustion is dangerous. If it is allowed to get to this late stage then it affects even our ways of thinking. The way we start to perceive reality is altered. Again, look at the examples of Elijah and Moses – they started to think that everything they had ever done was worthless, they began to blame God, they wanted to die. “I am no better than my ancesters,” said Elijah (1 Kings 19:4).

    The less energy we have, the more harshly we will judge ourselves, creating a sense of failure which leads to a feeling of guilt which leads to depression and a loss of hope. Oh, how our minds tangle us and cause us to stumble in the confusion brought on by exhaustion.

    No wonder people sometimes give up a fruitful work or ministry – they have become exhausted and can no longer “see the wood for the trees”. Their thinking has become distorted.

    If you ever feel like giving up, remember Moses and Elijah, and take heart. Even those greats of the faith struggled with exhaustion – their thinking got skewed, their feeling of self-worth left them, but God was able to pick them up and sustain them for the work ahead. He can do the same for you.

God knows what we need. And what we need is to take heed of his guidance, take the rest and recuperation he offers and take proper care of ourselves, just as he wants us to.

God provided food and rest for Elijah and a helper (Elisha) to shoulder the ministry alongside him. God provided Moses with a team of helpers so that he could go forward with renewed strength and finish the project he had been assigned. Notice, too, that Moses did not get to complete the whole project, only that part which he had been given responsibility for. The entry into the promised land was assigned to another (Joshua). We need do only that which we are asked by God to do and he will ask of us only that of which we are capable.

The empty pool syndrome, like most crises, can be both a danger and an opportunity. It may destroy your ministry, but it may instead strengthen it and/or send it in a new direction. Better by far to learn from the experience as early as possible and allow it to strengthen you and your ministry. So keep a look out for those warning signals and be ready to respond to them.

Questions to ponder:

  1. Why do we find it so difficult to put good advice regarding rest and recuperation into practice? Are there any specific issues that hinder you from caring for your garden/refilling your pool? How can you address them now before they cause you lasting harm?

  2. What weak points are there in your own life? Where do you make yourself vulnerable to weariness? What corrective steps can you take to ensure appropriate rest, recovery and renewal?

  3. Do you go to God with your tiredness and all its accompanying issues? Do you cry out before him like Moses and Elijah? God will not tell you off for being weak. Rather he will give you his strength. Look at his commitment to your health and well-being:

Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.
Matthew 11:28–30 (NLT)

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NLT)

Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.
Isaiah 40:31 (NASB)


A reflection from Sue Weir of St David’s about this particular day. Thank you, Sue, for reminding us…

As I sit here at my kitchen table, a vase of sunny daffodils smiling at me, I’ve taken a few minutes out to reflect on what is ‘Home’.

I think the definition of what home means to me has changed over the last nine months. Always the centre of family life, the place to which we all return each evening and share our stories of adventure, success and failure, yet now the feeling of our home being our place of security, safety and comfort is far greater.

It feels like we are all hiding here, awaiting a vaccine, a drop in the infection rate, permission to venture back out and meet family and friends, to attend school, to work, to socialise, and can you imagine it, to hug again!

But for now our home is our sanctuary. Our safe place.

But what if you found yourself without your home? If you’d been driven from it, forcibly removed, forced to flee in the face of very real danger?

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day 2021.

January 27th marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

Photo by Jean Carlo Emer on Unsplash

During the early stages of Nazi rule, many Jews fled their homes, no longer feeling safe, arriving in countries where they knew no one, nothing looked familiar, nobody spoke their language.

So far from their home.

Later in the Nazi campaign thousands were driven out of the comfort and safety of their homes into ghettos and concentration camps. As we know, most did not survive. The story of Anne Frank is well documented, hiding in an annexe for two years, fearful of all sounds, existing in a permanent state of anxiety, before eventually being discovered and taken to a concentration camp, later dying in Bergen-Belsen Camp.

Victims of the Rwandan genocide were forced to flee from their homes into the countryside, hiding in forests or under the floorboards of deserted buildings. In many cases they hid in these new ‘homes’ for years.

Victims of the genocide in Cambodia were forced from their homes in the cities to go and work in the countryside. Some lost hope that they would ever see their homes again.

For many who survived genocide, they returned to discover they no longer had a home. Ransacked, destroyed, inhabited by others or empty of belonging and family members.

They no longer had their refuge. They had to start again.

Tonight at 8pm we are encouraged to light a candle.

We join together in this simple act within the safety, comfort and security of our homes to remember: to remember the six million Jews murdered during the holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Inspired by Pause for Thought (BBC Radio 2) and Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.

Wednesday meditation

This week’s meditation is from Janet Creed of St David’s. Thnak you for sharing this with us, Janet.


As we are still in the ‘Christmas season’ (till 2nd February), I want to share this thought with you now and not wait till next Christmas.

In the run up to Christmas there were a lot of Christmas themed films on afternoon television.  One in particular caught my eye and the title has kept coming to mind since it was called ‘Godwinks’.

Before the film started, (and I have to say it was a typical American Christmas film but based on a true story), there was a written explanation.

“Godwinks – a new word in the language for those little co-incidences that aren’t   just co-incidences but come from a divine origin.  Godwinks are always a sign of hope”.

Some people also call them God-incidences!

I wonder how many of us have experienced a Godwink or a God sent moment, perhaps we have been nudged to phone or write to someone only to find out after that the person we had contacted had been struggling or really needed that phone call, letter or visit (when we were able to), and us not being sure why we did contact them at that moment but knowing we needed to?

On searching the internet, I found the term ‘Godwinks’ was used by SQuire Rushnell who has written a series of books on Godwink stories. SQuire calls them ‘a personal communication from God to an individual’ He also says they can be signposts, not directing you but reassuring you that you are heading in the right direction.  Some people may call it co-incidences, but in all the articles I have read the word that seems to stand out is “a signpost.”

For me a Signpost is immovable and is there to point us in the right direction. For Christians the cross is our signpost, it stands to point us to the love of God, his grace and mercy and a reminder that we say to God “not my will but yours be done.” If we want Bible passage to show us how we are to live then the Beatitudes would be a good place to start and if we want a Methodist source then it would be our Covenant Prayer. But in order to be able to be used in God’s Godwink moments for others we need to be open to hearing and willing to act on what may feel an impulse, and to receive a Godwink moment we need to be open to not only say yes but to be ministered to or affirmed.

When the subject of doing the Worship Leaders Course came up, I really wasn’t too sure, but others saying at different times they thought I should become a Worship Leader, felt like confirmation that I was taking the right path.  Were these signposts or Godwink moments, was God using others to communicate His plan for me?  I think so.                                                                                  

And the day I was told at the hospital clinic I had breast cancer, my sister was having a coffee in the hospital canteen waiting for me and Mom when she said she suddenly thought something is wrong I need to find Janet, she knew I needed her, and I did, I needed her to hold me.  She has always said she knew God was telling her I needed her, and this has happened many times during her ministry as a Deacon when she has suddenly, for no apparent reason, felt she needed to go and visit someone or phone them, and they have said we knew you would come or I needed someone at that moment.  Godwink moments? She has also said to me, “the worrying thing is when I don’t hear or ignore that inner call or Godwink moment, then who am I letting down by not responding?”

So – how often over the past year have you experienced a Godwink moment either when you have felt you needed to phone or write to someone, or someone has phoned or written to you?   My friend, Sheila seems to always send me a text just at the moment I need to hear from someone. 

When we read through the Gospels you could say that each encounter folk had with Jesus was a Godwink moment for them – The woman who reached out and touched the hem of his gown as he passed by, the man at the pool side who heard Jesus say his sins were forgiven, Zacchaeus in a tree, called down to feed Jesus. And for Jesus it was a Godwink moment of affirmation and support for him when Mary washed his feet and anointed him for his burial.

Today Godwink moments are encounters with others when you realise that in that small and often insignificant moment Christ is with us and guiding or inspiring us. We might be the ones giving or we might be receiving, but it is all about being open to the movement of the Spirit at that moment and responding.

Just spend a few minutes now thinking of any Godwink moments you may have had over recent months and the times when you may have offered Godwink moments to others.

Father God, we thank you for the times, when through others,
you have reminded us of your love for us. 
We are sorry for the times we have ignored the Godwink moments. 
Open our eyes, hearts and minds to the needs of others and help us
to share your love for your children. 


This is a hymn we used to sing at my church in Birmingham.  I love the words, it reminds me God is always there silently giving and touching our lives often using others to remind us – in Godwink moments.

As Gentle as Silence

Oh, the love of my Lord is the essence
of all that I love here on earth.
All the beauty I see he has given to me,

and his giving is gentle as silence.

Every day, every hour, every moment
have been blessed by the strength of his love.
At the turn of each tide he is there at my side,

and his touch is as gentle as silence.

There’ve been times when I’ve turned from his presence,

and I’ve walked other paths, other ways.
But I’ve called on his name in the dark of my shame,

and his mercy was gentle as silence.

Estelle White.   431 Singing the Faith

Online Pet Service…

Yes, that’s right.

One of the mothers of a child at St John’s has asked me if I would do an occasional short service for children so that her son will not forget his church. What a difficult time this is for us all as we try to find ways to hold together.

Anyway, I am going with the lovely suggestion and starting this Sunday 31st January at 4pm with a short (twenty minutes or so) session on zoom for families of young children (only – grown ups without primary school age children are not allowed!).

And I have decided to do an online pet service. I have pets (two guinea pigs and a cat) to share, I won’t get slobbered on by any dogs and no one will get eaten. I think an online pet service is perfect in so many ways! I don’t know why I haven’t thought of it before.

If you know anyone with young children who might want to join in (with or without a pet) please let them know about this session and ask them to get in touch with me via the blog or email so I can send them the zoom invitation. The rest of you need to pray that all goes well!

Should any of the grown-ups feel left out and want to share their pets too, just let me know. I am happy to arrange an adults’ version of this too!

Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

How well are the news media serving the nation?

This article below is from Huw Davies of St David’s, Craig y Don. Thank you for sharing your comment son this important topic, Huw.

How are we all coping? Well I’ve had enough! I accept the virus, I accept lockdown, but I am tired of the media reporting. Today’s media have not served us well during the Covid pandemic. Compare their behaviour with the “Keep calm and carry on” spirit of the war time generations.

One of my coping mechanisms has been (since last March) to stop watching the TV news. Television reporting has always been skewed by favouring stories that have images. That selection bias does not apply to radio news so I find there is better perspective. Honestly, even ten minutes listening about Covid on the radio news tells me on a daily basis what I need to know, what I should do, and what I should not do. Do I need to watch hours of sombre government and science briefings. No thank you. These coping strategies have been my personal choice, and I do understand that some people find TV news and briefings helpful.

To be clear, I do fully recognise the severity of the situation. But what’s tipped me over the edge are the media headlines saying that the new variant could be 30% more lethal. That sounds very frightening. The media are using something called relative risk. This relative risk tells you nothing about actual risk or absolute risk.

To his credit, the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, stressed that the possible increased actual risk appeared to be very small. He said: “The average risk is that for a thousand people who got infected, roughly 10 would be expected to die. With the new variant for a thousand people infected roughly 13 might be expected to die.” These figures show that the absolute risk has changed from 1.0% to 1.3% which doesn’t sound as scary. And let’s not forget you have to catch the infection in the first place.

So while 30% and 1.3% percentages are both mathematically correct, these different ways of reporting the science profoundly affect how we perceive risk — and critically influence our mood and sense of wellbeing. The data may turn out to be better or worse, but the point is that the considered and careful communication of a scientist has been presented as a more worrying headline. Is this what we need right now? The undermining of the human spirit? I don’t buy the argument that scary news headlines will encourage lockdown breakers to behave more sensibly. Those people probably won’t comply. So the main consequence of these headlines is that they disproportionately frighten sensible, sensitive and vulnerable individuals.

Yes, we must follow the guidelines and continue to take proportionate and sensible precautions, but we can cope much better if we filter what we read, see and hear in the media and try to put this into perspective. Today’s miserable media are quite a contrast to the optimistic Christian message of faith and hope, and I thank the Lord for the continuing care for each other being shown over the phone, Bev’s blog and our online worship together.

PS – If you want more examples of how to interpret media ‘risk’ stories, to get a better perspective, there is a good page on the Cancer Research UK website, here.

Thanks for helping us get our perspective clear, Huw. Just to add to what you are saying, I too stopped watching the TV News and also Breakfast TV soon after the first lockdown started. Filling the programmes with horror stories was not helping my wellbeing. So now I listen to Radio 4 (the last bit of the PM programme and the 6pm News). That’s enough for me though, even there, I find myself shouting at the radio when they say stuff which is skewed or editorially suspect. I also read the BBC News website articles – they are relatively short and, because it is the written word, it gives me chance to analyse what I am being told and work out for myself whether it is scare-mongering, skewed or whatever. I don’t read the newspapers – again, they have to fill pages and like to sensationalise, and I am afraid of bias. Well, that’s Huw and I having our say. Maybe you have something to add?!

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – Day 8

Reconciling with all of creation

“So that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11)


The hymn to Christ in the epistle to the Colossians invites us to sing the praise of God’s salvation, which encompasses the entire universe. Through the crucified and risen Christ, a path of reconciliation has been opened up; creation too is destined for a future of life and peace.

With the eyes of faith, we see that the kingdom of God is a reality that is very close but still very small, hardly visible – like a mustard seed. However, it is growing. Even in the distress of our world the Spirit of the Risen One is at work. He encourages us to become involved – with all people of good will – in tirelessly seeking justice and peace, and ensuring the earth is once again a home for all creatures.

We participate in the work of the Spirit so that creation in all its fullness may continue to praise God. When nature suffers, when human beings are crushed, the Spirit of the risen Christ – far from allowing us to lose heart – invites us to become part of his work of healing.

The newness of life that Christ brings, however hidden, is a light of hope for many. It is a wellspring of reconciliation for the whole of creation and contains a joy that comes from beyond ourselves: “so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete” (Jn 15:11).

“Do you wish to celebrate the newness of life that Christ gives through the Holy Spirit, and let it live in you, among us, in the church, in the world and in all of creation?” 
[Second promise made during profession at the Community of Grandchamp]


Thrice-holy God, we thank you for having created and loved us.
We thank you for your presence in us and in creation.
May we learn to look upon the world as you look upon it, with love.
In the hope of this vision, may we be able to work for a world
where justice and peace flourish,
for the glory of your name.


  • How much does your life declare God’s salvation?  What view of God would others have from how you live?
  • What could your church(es) and community do together to make justice and peace flourish in your locality?
  • How does your church or group of churches care for God’s creation?  What changes, large or small, could you make which would make that care more effective?

Go and Do

(see www.ctbi.org.uk/goanddo)

Global: Find out about and join the prayer chain for climate justice.

Local: Campaign together for climate justice in the lead up to the United Nations climate change talks in Glasgow 2021.

Personal: Take action for climate justice in your own life.

World Leprosy Day

A message from Mary Jones, St John’s, Llandudno:

24th January is World Leprosy Day 2021 in England and Wales, in Scotland it is 31st January 2021.

I recently sent a card to a friend. On the back was information about The Leprosy Mission.

She was surprised leprosy still occurs today. It has been known to exist for at least 4,000 years and today there are still more than 200,000 new cases reported every year.

Leprosy is a chronic, progressive bacterial infection rarely seen outside the tropics today. It is mildly contagious, requiring long term contact with an untreated individual. It is one of the world’s leading causes of permanent disability. Left untreated it can cause nerve damage, paralysis, loss of feeling and blindness. The nerve damage can result in a lack of ability to feel pain which can lead to further damage which may lead to amputation. People with leprosy can suffer terribly due to the stigma of the disease and ignorance, even leading to individuals being cast out of society and shunned by their families. Because of the stigma, those affected can delay finding help, delay in treatment causing more damage and more spread of the disease. 1 in 5 leprosy patients develop ulcers and healing can often take many months, even years. Too often, the worst cases lead to amputation and many months in hospital, losing opportunities for work and education.

Following the development of resistance to drug treatment, multidrug therapy became available in the early 1980s. Since then over 17 million people have been cured of leprosy.

The Leprosy Mission is an international Christian development organisation that diagnoses, treats and offers specialist care, including reconstructive surgery, to leprosy patients. Its goal is to eradicate the causes and consequences of the disease, with zero leprosy transmission by 2035. They also provide support, education and training so that individuals can go on to support themselves and live life in all its fullness.

Educating people continues as does research, striving for earlier diagnosis, better treatments, prevention of transmission.

More information can be found at www.leprosymission.org.uk

The Leprosy Mission Prayer
Almighty Father, the giver of life and health, look mercifully on those who suffer from leprosy.
Stretch out your hand to touch and heal them as Jesus did during his earthly life.
Grant wisdom and insight to those who are seeking the prevention and cure of the disease;
give skill and sympathy to those who minister to the patients;
reunite the separated with their families and friends;
and inspire your people with the task set before The Leprosy Mission,
that it may never lack either the staff or the means to carry on its healing work,
in accordance with your will, and to the glory of your holy name.
We ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ your son, our Lord.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – Day 7

Growing in unity

“I am the vine, you are the branches.” (John 15:5a)


On the eve of his death, Jesus prayed for the unity of those the Father gave him: “that they may all be one … so that the world may believe”. Joined to him, as a branch is to the vine, we share the same sap that circulates among us and vitalizes us.

Each tradition seeks to lead us to the heart of our faith: communion with God, through Christ, in the Spirit. The more we live this communion, the more we are connected to other Christians and to all of humanity. Paul warns us against an attitude that had already threatened the unity of the first Christians: absolutizing one’s own tradition to the detriment of the unity of the body of Christ. Differences then become divisive instead of mutually enriching. Paul had a very broad vision: “All are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God” (1 Cor 3:22-23).

Christ’s will commits us to a path of unity and reconciliation. It also commits us to unite our prayer to his: “that they may all be one. . .so that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21).

“Never resign yourself to the scandal of the separation of Christians who so readily profess love for their neighbour, and yet remain divided. Make the unity of the body of Christ your passionate concern.”
[The Rule of Taizé in French and English (2012) p. 13]


Holy Spirit,
vivifying fire and gentle breath, come and abide in us.
Renew in us the passion for unity
so that we may live in awareness of the bond that unites us in you.
May all who have put on Christ at their Baptism 
unite and bear witness together to the hope that sustains them.


  • Are you resigned to the scandal of separation of Christians?
  • What part of your tradition is vital and life giving and what can you learn from what is vital and life giving within other Christian traditions?
  • What could be the impact on the world of greater unity between the churches?

Go and Do

(see www.ctbi.org.uk/goanddo)

Global: Find out more about the ACT Alliance and Caritas International and celebrate the coming together of Christian organisations to bring transformation across the world.

Local: Organise an online or in person conversation with the assistance of a facilitator on the theme of unity for the churches in your area.

Personal: Consider and commit to one act of unity.

The Reason Why

Chris Copper has been composing again. Here is his latest offering, together with his comments. Thank you for sharing this, Chris.

The reason why I stand here

This song started life a few months ago. The first line was there but I didn’t know where it was going. Eventually it emerged as a response to the Covenant Service.

Sadly this year, we were not able to be physically present in church to make our promises. We were able to follow the service online and make our response at home – we are grateful to Bev and Mark for making that possible.

Although Jesus advised us not to be ostentatious, there is something uplifting about standing as the body of the church to make our promises together.

Anyone who doesn’t have a Methodist background, may not know about the long standing tradition of the Covenant Service. You can find more information on the Methodist Church website, here.

My take on it is that it is not a contract but something born out of love. God is ever-loving and our natural response should be to do His will but, imperfect as we are, we can only do our best, It is our intention that counts and that is why we need to make those promises.

You can see the video of the song here.