Good News Line April 2016

“They’re Off!

They’re off! As this message is being composed the starter’s gun for the “official” opening of hostilities for the E.U. referendum has been fired. We could all be forgiven if we had thought that the “In - Out” campaigning had been going on for months: perhaps years. Some of might be thinking: what’s it all about? Many must have had the government’s handy guide telling us – no informing us what we can and should do. That in itself has caused quite a fuss!

In my mind it can be summarised as: where is our home? What is our destiny? Where do we want to be and where we belong? Simple questions you might think but horrendously complex once politicians try to give us answers. Whichever set speak: “Vote Leave” or “Remain” they warn of the dreadful consequences of casting our vote the “wrong” way. Undecided; in a quandary: Wishing a plague on both their houses. Need reassurance? The GOOD NEWS is that, for a Christian, our destiny is secure.

Let me try to explain: or rather let Jesus do the talking. In John’s Gospel Chapter 14 Jesus is speaking to His disciples at what we now call “The Last Supper”. There Jesus had been explaining what lay ahead of Him and why He had to die. His disciples were naturally confused, hurt and bewilded. What was going to happen to them? This what Jesus said: verse 1 – “Do not let your hearts be troubled? Trust in God; trust also in me. In my father’s house are many rooms; if it were not I would have told you so. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me……. Later on Thomas said (it had to be him!) ”Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

There are two messages that we can take from those words and others around them in John’s Gospel: please, do take time to read those chapters. The first message is that we are in good company if we are confused just now! Despite spending 3 years with Jesus; day and night too, the folk closest to Jesus needed reassurance. And Jesus understood there concern: though later on He did give Peter a “gentle” telling off. But that’s another matter – perhaps a cue for another GNL message??

The other message we can take from those passages is that Jesus cared and still cares for His disciples. The “Really Good News” is that He has prepared a home for each of us too: of that we can be certain. How, you might ask? By willingly going to a cruel cross to redeem a messed up world. Whether you are rich or poor; homeless or living in a mansion; UK citizen, refugee or migrant we have ALL fallen short of God’s standard. What can I do or what is a disciple: you might ask? The short answer is to acknowledge your sin (for that is what failure to meet God’s standard is), repent (be truly sorry) and put your whole trust in Jesus Christ as your saviour. Then pick up your cross and follow Him. See Luke’s Gospel Chapter 9 verse 23. For that what it is to be a disciple of Jesus. Sounds daunting? Seems confusing or strange? Read around these Bible passages and speak to a Christian leader. And, please don’t be afraid to ask for help. Or you can take the direct line, prayer. God’s always ready to listen.

For those of you who already consider yourselves to be disciples: take heart in this confusing and crazy world. In Out: Boris or Dave? Ignore them all and rest your hope and aspiration in a risen Christ. On June 24th it will all be over. Rest assured, whatever the outcome our destiny remains secure if we put our trust in Christ Jesus.

Thank you for taking the time to read this message and do have a peaceful and referendum free day.

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