Peter Huzzey (the former Team Rector)told me a story…
He and his wife Jane went to Galway in Ireland for their holiday, and on Sunday they went to church (as is fairly normal for a priest). Since the prominent church in Galway is the Catholic church they went to a catholic mass and at five to ten they were almost the only people in the church. But by one minute to ten the church was completely full. The priest arrived and began the mass. There were no books as everybody knew the liturgy by heart, there were no hymns, and when they came to communion the priest quickly went around the building administering the sacrament. The whole thing was over in thirty minutes, and there was no coffee or fellowship after the service, everybody was out the door within five minutes of the end of the service. In the taxi later on the driver said to Peter and Jane that everyone in Galway is Catholic, for thirty minutes on a Sunday.
A phrase Andy (me) likes to use is that “If Jesus isn’t Lord of all, he’s probably not Lord at all”.
Whilst I’m not accusing anybody on this network of only being a Christian for thirty minutes on a Sunday can any of us honestly say that everything we do every day can be described as Christian?
Needless to say Jesus is not a part time Lord, so why should we be part time disciples?
This summer I will be taking my youth group to Soul Survivor for the third time. And I don’t mean to belittle the value of these big Christian festivals because they are very valuable things but one thing I notice is that several people who go to them are extremely dedicated and passionate Christians, for a week. And then they go home and nothing has changed. They come before God just as they are and leave just as they were.
Perhaps I’ve misunderstood the gospel, but I don’t think Jesus died for this sort of faith.
Christianity is not a hobby, it’s not something that you add on to the rest of your life, when you accept Jesus into your life you accept him in to everything. Not just for an hour a week, or a week a year, but every hour of every day of every year for the rest of your life.
As Paul (Mundy) said in his excellent message on Christianity in the workplace “I carry Jesus with me everywhere that I go. I have no choice since I have the Holy Spirit living inside of me.”
God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, if he did he wouldn’t have sent Jesus, but that’s no excuse not to try. The fact that we are saved by faith not by works does not mean that our lives don’t have to change once we are saved. I believe we need to be intentional about letting Jesus in to everything, at work, at home, at Church in the shopping centre, in absolutely everything, living Jesus’ way mean living it in everything.
It’s not easy, last week in living the Christian Life at Home Andy (Me) described Christian life like this “it’s a tightrope walk, which I am constantly falling off, of trying to see our whole life as being obedient to God in everything, every conversation, every moment trying to live God’s way.”
We will fall off but we have the ultimate safety net in Jesus’ crucifixion.
The Gospel of John says about Jesus that “In him was life, and that life is the light of the world. The Light Shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it”
Jesus brings light into everything, seek out the dark aspects of your life, the parts that Jesus is not Lord of, and ask him to light them up.
It is my prayer for all of us that we would be able to welcome Jesus in every aspect of our lives.