Church of England Diocese of Leicester Burbage with Aston Flamville

Thought for the day - Wednesday 13th January

13 Jan 2021, 10 a.m.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

“I love to sing hymns Vicar, but I can't believe all that rubbish in the Bible". That is what someone said to me once, and is typical of many conversations I have had over the years.

Christianity, for some people, is nothing more than a quaint fairytale that is good for teaching children the difference between right and wrong, or perhaps give themselves a nice feeling at Christmas. Yet those same people are quite happy to read their stars in the newspaper, believe without question the stories they read in the press, or get engrossed in the fictitious lives of characters in soap-operas.

What people so often fail to realise is that the Christian faith is about living life to the full; it is about becoming a real person. Being a believer in Jesus Christ is challenging, sometimes difficult and is never easy, but the rewards of feeling close to God is enormous. Christianity is about learning to love to the utmost, and through that, being able to live life to its fullest.

There are so many people in our world today who are searching for something to make their lives more meaningful. However, they so often seem to get sidetracked by the trials and troubles of this world, or the temptations of an easy life. In this time of Covid many people are searching for certainty and hope. I do believe that Jesus Christ can bring both to anyone who is willing to dismiss their negativity and allow God's love to overwhelm them.

I am often asked, "Where do I start?" Well, that is not easy to answer, as there are many routes to becoming closer to God. Just picking up a Bible might not be the answer for everybody. Sometimes the lives of the saints might help giving examples and encouragement, or it could be your example of good living, but perhaps try not to look so pure and holy that people think you are not like them. I remember when I was a young boy there was a children's entertainer on the television called Mr. Pastry (Richard Hearne); he always finished his show by saying something to the effect of, “Be good children, but not so good that everyone wonders what you have been up to.”

What I believe is a sure starter to living life to the full and becoming a real person is to just take one verse of the Bible and try to live to it. The verse I am talking about is from the Gospel of St. John Chapter 13, verse 34 (Jesus said) "I give you a new commandment; love one another; just as I have loved you, you also must love one another."

Try just being more loving in your life, with your family, with your friends, and in the community. There are so many people who need love, your love will not be wasted. There are so many opportunities to help people, perhaps you could give some of your time out of love? It could change your life!

Finally, for the person who likes to sing hymns, but cannot get any further, perhaps I could recommend studying the words of some of the famous hymns. Hymns are often based on words from the Bible or are testaments of faith, or could be just great songs of praise and joy, and are great guidance in real life. One of the oldest hymns that we sing often in church should give anyone extra encouragement at this difficult time.

Now thank we all our God,
with heart and hands and voices,
who wondrous things hath done,
in whom this world rejoices;
who from our mother's arms
hath blessed us on our way
with countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
with ever joyful hearts
and blessed peace to cheer us;
and keep us in his grace,
and guide us when perplexed,
and free us from all ills
in this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God
the Father now be given,
the Son and him who reigns
with them in highest heaven,
the one Eternal God,
whom earth and heaven adore;
for thus it was, is now,
and shall be evermore.

We live in a world which at the moment is embroiled in uncertainty, but I am sure that most of us can remember being picked up by our mothers when we were crying after a fall. God is always ready to pick us up and cradle us in his love if we cry to him.

Fr. Terry