Hey everyone. With yesterday being the first Sunday of the year it was with a sense of hope and optimism that I attended the kirk on the corner for the morning service.
However as he prepared us for life in the real world our minister soon put an end to any delusion that we were still in the holiday season and you know what, it’s probably a good job he did. Well there is nothing like a pile of misplaced dreams to ruin the national mood. So it was at least for the regulars at Baillieston St Andrew’s a return to reality and a reminder if any were needed that the decorations come down tomorrow night.
Malcolm started the service by talking about pixels and informing those amongst the congregation who did not already know that pixels were tiny images which related to photographs and the more pixels an image has the brighter it is so in the world of the camera phone the fewer the pixels the darker and dimmer the picture. This he said was kind of like our relationship with God the closer we are to him the better we can see the bigger picture he has for both ourselves and the world.
In his reading which focused on the last few verses of John Chapter 6 he reminded us that the Christian journey is not an easy one and anyone who believes it begins and ends with attending Sunday service couldn’t be further the truth. He reminded us that God does not want a Christian who gets home from school, university, or work and shuts the door on their community and the world. On the contrary, God wants Christians who will not be afraid to get actively involved in their community for the right reasons.
In a powerful message Malcolm cited the fact that Jesus had gained many followers until he revealed he was the son of God and then many fearing ridicule of being associated with what they considered a blasphemer turned their backs and walked away until he was left with just the twelve disciples.
You see what many of the crowds who gathered to see Jesus were probably looking for a political rabble rouser who would lead Israel to freedom from Roman rule. However this was not what Jesus was offering when he talked of fulfilling the promise, no, the promise he was offering was eternal life though his death and resurrection. This did not please those who sought more immediate fulfilment through personal gain and promises of gold.
Even at this stage Jesus knew who that he would be betrayed by one of disciples and which one it would be and true to God’s plan it was Judas who committed the ultimate betrayal and handed him over to the Roman soldiers. However Malcolm then proceeded to stun us all by saying he had a soft spot for Judas who he said wasn’t a bad man as such but had fundamentally misread the message and misunderstood it’s meaning. This goes a long way to explaining why Judas was later found hanged so distraught was he at what he had done.
It is I think very easy to misread signals especially when a lack of spiritual pixels mean we may not be seeing the picture at it’s clearest and best view Now some people may believe that going to church on Sunday mornings is enough to make them a Christian but God wants and indeed demands more of us than that. God demands that we get in amongst those whom polite society walks away from and turns as fast it can in the other direction whilst doing so. God demands we get involved in our local communities and neighbourhoods. God demands we take risks in his name and stand up for what we believe to be right and fair. God demands a lot of a Christian and the journey we are requested to make is not suited to everyone and it’s not one we can reserve only for an hour or two or Sunday’s.
As always on Sunday’s I checked my facebook and twitter news feeds as soon as I arrived home. On doing so, I was delighted to find words of comfort and faith from Samantha Hands. In her status update Samantha who has a strong Christian faith reminded me of this fundamental truth ‘God is faithful. He will allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able but with the temptation he will always provide an escape, so you able to bare it’. I have to say this was a very appropriate word at just the right time. It was as if I was meant to hear a word of faith from a fellow Christian to keep me focused and on the right road. This lead to a brief chat with Samantha later on last night in which I made the confession that despite the fact I chat about my faith in this blog and on twitter I very seldom do so on facebook.
My justification for this is being this blog is my own private space where I give free voice to my opinions. Twitter is so instant, that if you blink you’ll miss a million tweets, but Facebook is a wee bit more public and I am therefore reluctant to discuss what is a very personal matter. But hold on a minute, what was it Malcolm said about getting involved in our communities? Well surely he didn’t just mean our physical communities not in this technological age, I think we need to take the battle in to our virtual communities as well. After all Jesus commands us to spread the good news to all parts of the world and to me that in this 21st century includes our virtual villages because chatting to our virtual contacts could be every bit as important as talking to that friend or neighbour we see every day because someone has to let them know God isn’t just for Sunday’s he’s worth more than the promise of gold .
Love And Best Wishes