HomeFr Kevin writes...

Stepping out

Dear Friends,

When did you last have an adventure?

The readings during our Eucharist during Eastertide present an exhilarating adventure: the early church's roller coaster ride as they witnessed God growing the church before their eyes, and the miracles and signs done through the hands of the Apostles; as well as facing opposition too. It was exhilarating and heady stuff.

Of course, no-one can live on that high-octane plane forever. St Paul's letters also show how, in the early Church, faith in Jesus had to be worked out in and through the challenges of ordinary, mundane, day to day living, as St Paul and other leaders wrestled with tricky pastoral issues and problems, which would make most of our modern-day disagreements look like a vicarage tea party. Yet they knew that the Risen Christ was truly alive and at work within them in both the miraculous and the mundane.

I sometimes wonder if some of us settle for a more comfortable ride, through fear, a sense of inadequacy, by ignoring God's call, or by not grasping nettles in the church? I often chuckle when I hear the hymn:

"In heavenly love abiding no change my heart shall fear. and such as such confiding ... for nothing changes here!"

Nothing changes here. Indeed! I'm sure that many of us would like to keep it that way! But, friends, that is not authentic Christian living. For God is constantly calling us out of our comfort zones. But do we not too easily cling to the safe and familiar? Because a moored ship can't be steered, we may need to cut loose from our moorings, if we are to ride with Jesus out in the vast sea of his love, power and grace in a great, exciting adventure, in obedience to his call on our lives. Only this way will we ever know the riches of his grace, as we see him in the miraculous and the mundane, in our own lives and in the lives of others, out in the world today.

But this does involve change. However, we should not fear change for, "in heavenly love abiding no change my heart shall fear." By a coincidence, or was it a God-incidence, today's readings at Morning Prayer promised:

"Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go"

In the Lion and the Witch and the wardrobe the children are told,

"Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion." "Ooh" said Susan. "I'd thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion"..."Safe?" said Mr Beaver ..."who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."

I really do believe that God is doing new things with us at St Paul's. As we face new challenges in the year ahead, let us be confident that when God calls us to obey, he sticks with us. And those whom God calls, he also equips. So let us cut loose from our moorings, and step out into an adventure with him? What he wills for us is always for our highest good and for our greatest blessing. So, might each of us make this our prayer:

One more step along the world I go,
from the old things to the new,
keep me traveling along with you:
And it's from the old I travel to the new;
keep me traveling along with you.

With my love and prayers,

Fr Kevin.