Exminster Methodist Church, Main Road, Exminster EX6 8BT
Email email@example.com, Minister: Rev Ben Haslam, Telephone (01392) 256716
By the time you read this, we may or may not have left the EU. As I write this, I hear people either speaking in increasingly apocalyptic tones about the terrors that await us post-Brexit, or shaking their heads at the ineptitude of Parliament in negotiating (or sabotaging, depending on your point of view) our withdrawal deal. Meanwhile, Turkey bombs Syria, a typhoon hits Japan and what amounts to a civil war rages in Cameroon. Our little island feels such a claustrophobic place sometimes. Our domestic concerns consume us to the point where we can’t hear the rest of the world.
As Christians however, we are called, not just to be attentive to the wider world in which we live (because it’s God’s, He loves it, and we are part of it), but we’re called too to be attentive to what is beyond what we can see. We’re called to remember that God’s people belong to God’s Kingdom, and with this comes the confidence that, despite appearances, God is working in the world to bring about reconciliation between Himself and a world which has turned its back on Him. The cross of Christ is the way He chose to do this. The question for us is therefore, how can we promote God’s project of reconciliation? This goes beyond just being nice. This is about making God’s love real to others so that they want to know more. It’s about letting people know that a real, life-changing relationship with God is possible. Most of the situations I just referred to signal a world that is fractured and fallen. They are the sort of thing you get when God is pushed out. We can’t just shake our heads and mutter about the hopelessness of it all. Never underestimate the usefulness of being a prayerful, loving presence in the world. Let the world see that you have hope.
Remember your Great Task as a Christian, summed up by Paul:
“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God”. (Corinthians 5: 19-20)
God bless, Ben