Jesus gives life

At the welcome for Rev. Terry Williams, the new Vicar of St. James Codnor I was invited to give him the welcome from the Free Church movement and specifically from Waingroves and Codnor Methodist as Covenant partners.

In order to do so I thought it would be good to present him with a welcome gift and so after long and extensive research into his likes and dislikes I presented him, on the night, with a Macdonalds free coffee voucher.

A bit of fun to try and make him feel as though he is amongst friends. Sometimes in Church life we squeeze out the fun element and we become too serious. We worry over this committee or that committee; we agitate over deadlines; over hymnbooks and certainly concern ourselves too much about the length of the service.

Jesus said, “I have come in order that you might have life – life in all its fullness”. ( John 10:10) However we almost inhibit that life by filling it with society’s expectations of Church. The world in its media etc. portrays the church to be full of elderly, dour, unexciting people and its clergy is always out of touch wimps who owe more to Derek Nimmo than Dawn French. Yes it’s a sweeping generalisation but the world deals in generalisations. My experience of Church people is that they are usually ready for a smile, a laugh, and a time of enjoyment. Yes, we all have our down moments, but don’t let’s forget the “up” moments.

When Jesus said about giving us life, I believe that he referred to eternal life but we need to remember that eternal life begins for those who believe in him, now. A famous poem begins “If I had my time to live once more I would…………………….”and goes onto explain the good things the writer would engage in. She speaks of worrying less and laughing more, of eating more baked beans and ice cream and of general enjoyment.

I would want to rewrite the poem in the light of the Church “If I (the Church) had my time to live once more, I would have fewer meetings about nothing, and more meetings about life; I would have fewer communions with bread and wine and far more with loaves, cake and a feast; I would have more time to laugh and take time off from grumbling; I would enjoy colour and brightness and forget the darkness of the world more…………………” and so it goes on.

Why don’t we spend some time as we approach Easter thinking about what is important for us, what we need to hold onto more and what we need to let go of, what can and ought to be changed and what needs to be cherished. Lets all learn to laugh more and enjoy the life that God created, the life that Jesus redeemed on the cross, and the laugh that is lived with the Holy Spirit.