June 2014

July 23, 2014

Thoughts From The Cottage

Dear Friends

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, ….
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, …..
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,….
Many of you will recognise these extracts from the Nicene Creed, the bedrock of our faith, it spells out the essentials of our faith, the commonality between all Christians. It is what binds together and to God. Without these beliefs we are not Christian.

This month we celebrate two of the five great Christian festivals, significant steps in the Christian story, Ascension and Pentecost. Within out them we would not be here as the Beacon Church Centre. At Ascension we celebrate the return of Jesus to heaven and to his throne alongside his Father and the Holy Spirit as our Lord and King. At Pentecost we celebrate the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit to equip, gift and enable all Christians to do God’s will. Yet many Christians still try to live as if Jesus is not their Lord and King and without the power that comes from the Holy Spirit. How on earth can we expect the church to grow if we do not recognise the lordship of Jesus over every aspect of our life and if we decline to accept the help that God gives us through the Holy Spirit.

There is a massive problem and it is about ownership, control and authority. We like it. We like to make our own decisions, do things our own way and have control of our own destiny. Yet that is the complete reverse of Christianity. Being Christian means total surrender to God, submission to His will and accepting that He controls our own destiny. For many of us this is extremely uncomfortable, painful and difficult but if Ascension and Pentecost mean anything we have to persevere and ultimately we will experience the absolute joy and peace that comes from a life lived in tune with God.

We talk about going to church but that is absolute nonsense. If we are Christian we are part of the church wherever we are, whatever we are doing. Christianity is not something that we put on on Sundays it is a way of life. Everything we do comes under the authority of Jesus. Our lifestyle, our relationships, our habits, our purchases, our politics, our views, our words and even our thoughts have to be submitted to him and we have to allow him to tell us what we can do and what we can’t. After all we have committed ourselves to live under his authority and have accepted the help of the Holy Spirit when we became Christian