Musings from The Manse – September 2022

If you were asked ‘what kind of summer have you had?’ I wonder how quickly your mind would think about the weather we have had. Whether you talk about the extreme heat waves or you focussed conversation on a time you got soaked whilst out and about. So I wonder if you had a set of scales and on the one side put the number of times you have had conversations about the weather and on the other side the number of times you have had conversations about God, which way would the scales tip and to what degree?

It is interesting to reflect on what we talk about and what we consider is important to share in our conversations. If you talk to a climate activist it’s highly likely you will hear their views on the state of our planet and the urgency of the response humankind needs. Whoever we talk to we can often quickly get to know what their interests are and what enthuses them, what their views are on certain things. I wonder how true that is of Christians? What do we Christians talk about?

Jesus tells us “Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.”[Matthew 12.37 The Message Bible] Words can express who we are in Jesus and when words and actions are weaved together in how we live we can change the world for the people we come into contact with. Some folk argue actions speak louder than words and of course they do BUT actions without words may not portray the message we are called to deliver. What if Jesus had lived and never said anything or how would our worship be if it was totally silent?

Our ‘walks and talks’ over July and August have been an opportunity to talk together about a variety of things and I would encourage us all as we move into the autumn as church activities start up again and new ones begin, that we ‘walk and talk’ with each other in our faith journey.
What would our churches be like if the scales of conversation weighed heavily on talking about our relationship with Jesus and what being a follower of Christ means to us? Surely this will boost our confidence to talk to people outside the church, as Jesus calls us to.

I know that some would say but you are the minister, people will talk to you about God and yes that is true but I hope we can also say about me and each other that we encourage God talk and be a catalyst for it. Maybe we run the risk of being accused of ‘always banging on about it’ but is that not what Jesus did, who we are called to be like? If the news of Jesus is ‘Good News’ do we not have a burning ambition to want to talk about it as those first disciples did? We convince ourselves that folk don’t want to talk about God. When was the last time you tried? Practice with each other in church, ask questions like ‘Where do you think God is in all this? I wonder what Jesus would say/do? What do you want me to pray about? So where are you in your relationship with God?

In the closing prayer in our baptism service we pray;

‘We commend to you their home may it be a family home where the name of Jesus is heard.’

Let us be encouraged in our homes, in church and in ‘all the world’ to speak the name of Jesus so that we can say as Paul did to the Philippians 2.10;

‘At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth’!

Your friend and servant


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