The one thing we shouldn’t be worried about transmitting

At the moment lots of people are worried about what they pass on to others! For various reasons we may be trying to keep these things to ourselves:

  • germs
  • worries (as people have enough to worry about right now)
  • fears (people wouldn’t understand) 
  • a 2 metre space (social distancing)
  • hopes or plans (in case they aren’t met or don’t happen)

I am glad that for many Christ Church is a place where many of us feel able to share our joys, worries, concerns and fears with one another. It is a mark of the friendships and fellowship that God has blessed us with. Although for everyone who shares, there is at least one person who is putting on a brave face and keeping their reality hidden. If you pray, join me in praying that we would be better at sharing our lives together and receiving what people share. It is all part of the way we express our love for one another, just like a regular family does.

So what can we share?

Hope, joy and what things are really like. It makes sense to be wise about who we shared things we feel really vulnerable about, but I hope we can all say I’m not having a good day today.

What else do we struggle to share?
There is one thing that has changed my life for the better, yet it can be hard to tell people about it. Even though other people seem very happy telling me about the latest film, purchase or meal they enjoyed, I think it is hard sharing what Jesus has done, or what a difference he makes. Surprisingly I don’t think being a Vicar makes it any easier most of the time!

How can we help others?
Here are three ways we could introduce someone to Jesus without having to work out what to say. 

  1. Share this page with someone.
  2. If you listen to something encouraging, a talk, a podcast, radio station or read something pass it on. Send it on WhatsApp, drop it through someones letter box or tell them over the phone.
  3. Invite people to church, let someone else explain what Jesus has done. Simply tell someone how helpful, encouraging or beneficial you find coming to church and that they might like to try it, in person or on Zoom. It has never been easier to invite someone to a service that it is now.

I can’t tell you how grateful I am to God for all those people who made sure that Jesus wasn’t left out of their conversations. I am so thankful to those who invited me to church and told me that Jesus loved me. I know that the good news of Jesus can spread quicker than wild fire and knowing him can change communities more profoundly than any pandemic.

So please use the resources Jesus has given us to share something good this week. I hope to be able to include some elements in this email in the weeks to come that might make it more relevant and more readily sharable, if you have any ideas I would love to hear them.

Confused? It’s simple…

With the relaxation of restrictions, things are getting really confusing. What we are allowed to do and what is wise to do, it is so hard to tell? We’ve finally got used to staying 2 meters apart and businesses have invested thousands of pounds in signage only to be told it is now 1 meter plus. Church can open for private prayer but not for services, however pubs and restaurants can open. Totally confusing!

Church can be confusing too
It isn’t just the current regulations that are confusing, church can be a bewildering place too, especially if you are fairly new. But even if you were brought up in the church, joining or visiting a new church can seem very strange! Although one of the blessings of the crisis is that some people can attend or observe from another chair in the room or on youtube and from the privacy of their home. This may take away some of the fear or confusion but people may still be wondering what it is all about?

Simple, consistent and amazing
The good news is that Christianity is simple, the message of the Bible is consistent and truly amazing. The big picture isn’t complicated, even young children can understand what Jesus did, sometimes better than the rest of us. Although simple, Christianity is far from simplistic, as we are introduced to the God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three persons yet one God. An eternal community of three whose overflowing love led to the creation of the universe.

Christianity is an invitation
to join Jesus and share his joy! 

We are not invited to be observers but to join the family, to be adopted as children of God. How is that possible? Because Jesus paid for the things that separate us from God and destroyed death, the consequence of our sin. Why did Jesus die for you, because he loves you! Jesus is the way to eternal life and relationship with God.

Impossible for us
Simple did you say? Yes it’s simple because Jesus has done the impossible work. He alone can free us from the separation we face because of our sin, our rebellion. Without Jesus our hearts remain directed inward, turned away from our creator and incapable of doing what is right or making up for what is past.

The way is simple
So it is as simple as accepting our helplessness and believing  that Jesus is the only solution. Or as Jesus puts it recognising him as the way, the truth and the life. We simply choose to face God not on our own merit, but to face God with Jesus’ perfection in place of our hopelessness. 

Simple but hard
So it is simple but not simplistic and it is certainly not easy. Making the decision to follow Jesus is tough and it is costly and it changes everything. It is simple, but so in theory is climbing a mountain, you just have to keep going up. When it comes to Jesus, all we have to do is put our trust, our lives and our future in his hands. Simple, yes, but something I’m still practicing everyday.

Whoever you are
Whether you’re a decision maker at church, work or in the community, someone who’s fearful about the changes being too quick or too slow, we are praying that you will know the hope that Jesus brings now and over the coming weeks.