Well, it is now 2015, or very nearly. What might the New Year bring? We can’t possibly answer that one – so, and of dubious value, I’d like to just share a few little musings with you. So, here goes – in a fairly obvious acronym for the N.E.W. Y.E.A.R.
N for Nourishment.
As ever, we in the West suffer from obesity whilst many parts of the world starve. If we can help in any way, prayerfully or financially, let us be gracious and compassionate enough to do so this year. Food Banks, in our own town, are proving a benefit for many. People’s circumstances differ, we don’t need to know the whys and wherefores as to why someone finds themselves in such a position. We just need to have a simple heart of compassion – so that we continue to support the food bank whenever we can. Another form of nourishment, I feel, is spiritual. I’m going to try to be more open, expectant and humble to accept and heed God’s spiritual nourishment. The nourishment of our souls is even more vital than that of our bodies.
E for Evangelism.
No, unlike Billy Graham, probably none of us will ever hold the rapt attention of the crowd at Anfield! However, in whatever way we can, Jesus urges us to spread the good news of His saving grace. Why keep it to ourselves? Some are called to be ‘up front ‘ in church. Great. But in simpler ways we can all show the difference that Christ within us makes – by our actions, attitudes and words. The Bible tells us that it is by our deeds that we shall be known. We needn’t make it complicated. We can commit our days and our ways to God, and if we truly do so, He will indeed make us ‘fishers of men’ – which is the essence of evangelism.
W for Worship.
We are blessed at St. James with an excellent worship team, and an excellent organ/ organists. Many of our hymns and praise songs are beautifully and profoundly worded, indeed they are prayers in themselves. Perhaps we could conjecture that teaching and prayer are at the heart of our church services, with worship being the lifeblood. Our love for the Lord is shown in singing and music. God loves to hear us worship and praise Him. If, like me, you’re no Kathleen Ferrier, have no fear – your voice to the one who made you sounds as sweet as honey. So, carry on Worshipping!
Y for Yesterday.
Do you ever find yourself thinking about the past, and wishing things had been different? We all probably do it at times, despite knowing that it is useless. As they say “hindsight is a wonderful thing”. In the light of today, we can often feel that we acted wrongly, hastily or foolishly. Our soul’s balm for this is the love of the Lord Jesus. He can calm us and reassure us and help us to move on. Today is very special, it’s a gift – that is why it is called the present. Don’t spoil or waste it by looking backwards.
E for Everyone.
Isn’t it good to spend time with our friends in church. We by and large have our own seating positions – ‘though not actually reserved! A cosy scene. Within this scene, however, we need to remain aware that Christ died for everyone. Not just those who go to church! Prayerfully, let’s hope that God will lead us individually and as a church family to convey this note of inclusion to all those with whom we have contact.
A for Affliction.
In this life we face many and varied afflictions. God knows. God cares. God will see us through. Enough said.
R for Religion.
Wow! Where do I start? It comforts many. It inspires many. It enriches the lives of many. It puzzles many. It angers many. It amuses some. It, in dire mis-use, starts wars. For some, it’s even a paid job – and not just a Sunday one! You’ll have your own thoughts and definition, I’m sure. For me, it is the outward visible system through which I try to live out my life. However, this outwardness is merely the open expression of the inner peace and joy which I get from knowing Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. Hope you get that too; and with these things in our hearts, may we all go forward into 2015 with grace and joyous expectation.
Much love, as always,