In May, we have an interesting month before us!
We start still in the Easter period with the crucified and risen Christ still on earth and the unbelievable wonder and joy of the early disciples realising that even death itself is overcome in Christ. We then have Ascension Day (Thur 13th May), Pentecost (23rd May) and Trinity Sunday (30th May) together with the General Election and Local Elections (May 6th) and Christian Aid week (9th – 16th May).
What a summary of the Christian Faith!
Firstly, focusing on God – Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength (Mark 12.29-30):
And so in the course of this month we focus on:
– Christ and the success and victory of the Cross;
– with Christ’s work on earth being successfully accomplished, His return to heaven
– the gift of the Holy Spirit and our being sent out as Christ’s servants into the world
– the wonder of God Himself – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit – one God – Holy Trinity and undivided Unity
Secondly, focussing on our neighbour – you shall love your neighbour as yourself (Mark 12.31):
– the General & Local Elections on May 6th; and
– Christian Aid Week – Sun 9th – Sun 16th May.
How appropriate that we first look at the Big Picture and gain our perspective from focussing on God and eternity. In the scheme of things our lives are dust, a vapour – the issues we get so het-up about suddenly lose their interest when we focus on impending death (which comes to us all) and the next life.
But then with that security, joy and peace of our knowing that our eternal destiny is secure, we have the question, what should we be doing now, today, in this world? Then (and only then!) the Christian Aid slogan is what we need to hear – we believe in life! Life starting in this world and going-on, not-withstanding death, for eternity – we believe in life before death!
People talk about the importance of this life and of preserving and lengthening this life. However, when you look at how so many people live, there is very little of the sanctity of life visible in practice. And this is equally true if you look to the third world, or if you look at home here in the UK – material wealth appears to have little bearing on the quality of life.
How do we treat each other? How do we treat ourselves? We are all – not just important – but each one of us is unique! Our faith leads not just to what we do, but how we think of life and each other and how we do what we do! As Mother Teresa said,
Each one of us is created in the special image and likeness of God for greater things – to love and to be loved. What I can do, you cannot. What you can do, I cannot. But together we can do something beautiful for God.
Yes, you must live life beautifully and not allow the spirit of the world that makes gods out of power, riches, and pleasure make you to forget that you have been created for greater things – to love and be loved.
Do ordinary things with extraordinary Love.
Let us love one another as God loves each one of us.
God told us, “love your neighbour as yourself.” So first I am to love myself rightly, and then to love my neighbour like that. But how can I love myself unless I accept myself as God has made me?
God has created us to love and to be loved, and this is the beginning of prayer – to know that He loves me, that I have been created for greater things.
God has created us in His image and likeness enabling us to know Him, to love Him and serve Him in this world, so as to be happy with Him forever in the life to come. This is the true purpose of life. To live our lives with this aim, our lives have to be woven with prayer.
We have to learn to pray the work. To do it with Jesus, for Jesus, to Jesus – then we are 24 hours with Him, and that makes us contemplatives in the heart of the world.
As we seek to make a difference in the world – and obviously we want to make a positive difference! – let’s remember that Jesus said, without Me you can do nothing [ie, of any importance, relevance or worth] (John 15.5) and when we think of what this world needs, whether through Christian Aid aboard, or through leaders and politicians at home, or indeed through every one of us! Where’s this going to come from, if not from God?
what’s good, what’s right, what’s true
sharing, caring, helping with integrity, respect
forgiveness and love
You want a real-life example, a role-model – well, we do have one, our Lord Jesus Christ! Sadly, many of His so-called servants don’t follow His example.
This month of May, let’s take this opportunity to focus on God and on the world;
and as we seek to reconcile the irreconcilable,
let’s then look with renewed wonder at Jesus Christ
and reflect upon what our particular role is, our unique role is, in His service
and then let’s trust & obey and do it!
in His name in His love and for His glory