A new and welcome contribution this week from Jess our new curate who was preaching last Sunday - if you’ve not met her yet do come along on Sunday; she’s great!
“I've never been a "dedicated follower of fashion" and have never managed to keep up with the latest trends. I'm usually completely out of the loop when it comes to that kind of stuff which is why I have been often told to "get a life!"
I sometimes wonder exactly what people mean by that. What criteria do people use to decide what means that someone has a life or not? Is it simply keeping up with everyone else? Having everything our hearts desire? Being the life and soul of the party? Or just being able to say that we are busy? I'm not convinced that any of these things really count as having a life (although some of them might be fun from time to time.)
On Sunday in church we looked at a letter in the Bible that was written to the ancient church of Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6). The church at Sardis had a reputation for being alive but Jesus tells them that they are actually spiritually dead. This got me wondering how Jesus might understand what having a life means.
On Sunday we used the image of a sunflower to help us think about what life in Jesus might look like and we thought about three things:
1) Sunflowers track the sun.
For us that means keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, who is the Son (see what I did there!). The best way to do that is by talking to him (praying) and by getting to know him and what is important to Him (reading the Bible). Most Christians, if they are being honest, would say that they often find that tricky. Luckily there are loads of books, websites, apps, TV programs and Radio shows dedicated to help us. I would recommend having a look at Everyday with Jesus (paper based bible reading notes) or iDisciple or Pray as you go.
2) Sunflowers as vibrant
There is something about spending time with Jesus and having life in him that just shines out of us. Even in the most challenging of circumstances and in the darkest moments, something of Jesus shines through. I love the quote of Dumbledore from the Harry Potter books: "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."
3) Sunflowers grow
If we are truly alive in Jesus we should see growth in our character but also in our numbers as people are drawn in and as we are motivated to invite people to come and experience life in Jesus. We just can't help it - it is a natural by product of our life in Christ
Ultimately this isn't a to do list or a guilt list but it is something that Jesus does in us as he is the source of our life. The one thing that probably won't change in as a result of all of this is my dress sense or my terrible taste in films.”
Thanks Jess - it’s great to have you, Simon and the children here with us
God Bless all