Well, that’s it, Easter is over, packed away and we can relax now; there`s nothing on the horizon until Pentecost, apart from the mopping up exercise of Ascension !
I trust that most of you know me well enough by now to know that the above is very much `tongue-in-cheek`, but it sometimes feels that way. We rush headlong from Christmas into Easter and then relax as if the story has concluded for another year.
Well, that’s not the case at all. As the first disciples were to find out the hard work was now beginning for they (as do we) lived under the post-resurrection instruction of “go and tell”. If we have really appreciated all that Jesus has done for us then surely it is our joy to share that good news with others in both word and deed.
A young man who I respect and love very much shared with me his frustration at street preachers in the city where he lives and said that they should keep their opinions to themselves; I responded by speaking about the fact that when something major and important happens in our lives, most of us would want to tell all our friends and family, the people who mattered to us. To me those of us who have felt the love of Jesus and who have desired to follow him similarly want to share our good news with those who matter to us, but the difference is that those who matter to us are everyone, because everyone matters to God.
Whilst I don`t think that in this day and age street preaching, which can many ways be a form of bullying, is the best way forward it does raise the question, with whom and how have you shared that which Jesus has done for you ?
There are various ways in which we can do this but surely they should all centre around love for other people, because that is the way of God. Out of love He became incarnate, so out of love we should involve ourselves with the world around us; out of love for us He went to the cross, so out of love we should be prepared to be sacrificial for the sake of others; out of love Jesus reached out to the marginalised and oppressed, so out of love we should speak up for the poor and needy and for those that society refuses to help.
And so it goes on………………… I love Jesus and because of that and because of what He has done for me Alison and I sold our house in the North-East many years ago to retrain for the Ministry, we left behind our families and friends to journey under the direction of the Methodist Church, but what I can also say with certainty is that because we were prepared to put at risk all that we had and knew God has blessed us so powerfully in so many ways. We now have a much larger family, in a personal sense and in the sense of a Church gathering around us. We have been blessed by friends, old and new, Churches in which we have served and in Circuits where we have seen so much of Gods goodness.
You see, friends, when you love someone as much as I love Jesus you want to share that with others but God shares so much more with you. The picture above is of a wooden carving in the National Memorial Arboretum near to where we live; it is one of my favourite pieces as it depicts “the storyteller” and I love that sense of passing on the story of Jesus, He who has done so much for me.
And so I come to the end of this rather rambling entry by coming back to the question,
with whom and how, have you shared that which Jesus has done for you ?