Exminster Methodist Church, Main Road, Exminster EX6 8BT
Email email@example.com, Minister: Rev Ben Haslam, Telephone (01392) 256716
In a very long, but excellent poem called ‘A Christmas Oratorio’, WH Auden imagines some of the thoughts which might have been going through the heads of the wise men as they journeyed towards Jesus. Each of the three explains his reason for choosing to follow the star;
‘To discover how to be truthful now
Is the reason I follow the star’ says the first.
‘To discover how to be living now,
Is the reason I follow the star’ says the second.
‘To discover how to be loving now,
Is the reason I follow the star’ says the third’.
Truth. Life. Love. In the Gospels, you will find that Jesus offers the key to all three. ‘You will know the truth’, promises Jesus, ‘and the truth will set you free’.
‘Trust in God and trust also in me’, He encourages us.
‘Above all things, love God and love your neighbour as yourself’, He teaches.
However, these are not just instructions that we are to go and carry out using our own resources. They describe what begins to happen within us as we learn to live in step with Jesus. The words I’ve quoted above describe what life looks like when Jesus is at the centre of our lives and we won’t get very far at all if we rely solely on our own judgements, our own goodness, our own ideas and our own assumptions. Jesus is the key which unlocks this new, rich, fulfilling way of living, a way of life in which we are called to shed old grievances, old bad habits, old fears, and really open ourselves up to God’s transforming grace, made available to faith in Jesus Christ. It means dedicating ourselves to Him every single day. It means basing our lives on a pattern of constant confession but also constant praise and thankfulness, even when the road is bumpy. Such habits strengthen us and bind us more closely to God, the source of all true joy and life. A very good new year’s resolution, is to explore more fully this way of life which Jesus makes available to us in the here and now, and throughout eternity.
God bless, Ben