Rector's Monthly Letter March 2019

Dear Friends

Try to picture the scene. A sculpture stands in a meadow at the Royal Horticultural Society gardens at Rosemoor.  It consists of two human-like figures with heads . They are closely entwined and brightly painted with spots and circles of different colours.  They seem to be figures of energy, life and hope, but they are wrapped about with chains and each chain is locked to another with padlocks.  They may appear to be full of energy but they can't get free. (see back cover of this month's Link magazine)

That scene made me think about our lives and our faith.  When we first begin to discover Jesus we often have a new energy and a desire to follow Him and serve Him. We may make a real commitment to be His disciples. As we grow in knowledge and in maturity as Christians the initial enthusiasm often wanes.  We want to develop as Christians but more things get in the way.  Chains seem to drag us back.  We are so busy we don't have time for attending church or even for prayer.  The response is often 'I would like to, but I don't have time.' There are families to care for, children to take to any number of activities, sometimes worry over family issues, lack of mobility, difficulty in finding transport  Sometimes the weather, the time of day or thoughts of a cold church persuade us not to make the effort.  Often these difficulties can be overcome by involving other people, but it is easy to feel overwhelmed by all the pressures and feel ourselves to be held by immovable chains.

Perhaps it is time to cast off the chains that are holding us back, rearrange our priorities and be set free to serve Jesus more fully and effectively.  The hymn. 'And can it be' by Charles Wesley has the following words -

Long my imprisoned spirit lay , fast bound in sin and nature's night.

Thine eye dispensed a quickening ray - I woke, the dungeon flamed with light!

My chains fell off, my heart was free; I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

Think of the words of Jesus to the man who wanted to be a disciple but said that he needed to go back first to bid his family goodbye  - 'No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God' ( Luke 9 v61)

St Paul gives us a way of moving forward in his letter to the Romans (3 v24). 'But by the free gift of God's grace all are put right with Him (God) through Christ Jesus who sets them free.'

Is Jesus a priority or does the world tempt us away to other things? Are we still in chains?