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Musings from the Manse – November

As I come to the end of my fourth week ministering among you, I am reflecting on the many questions I have been asked and probably even more that I have asked. Asking questions is a great way of learning about each other and developing and deepening our relationship and yet it is also a way of challenging our thinking. Look at these questions that Jesus asked and imagine Jesus asking you them today and see where you go with the answers;

Mark 2.8 “Why do you think such things?”
Mark 3.33 “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”
Mark 4.21 “Does anyone ever bring in a lamp and put it under a bowl?”
Mark 4.30 “What shall we say the Kingdom of God is like?”
Mark 4.40 “Why are you frightened? Have you still no faith?”
Mark 7.18 “Don’t you understand?”
Mark 8.17/18 “Are your minds so dull? You have eyes – can’t you see?
You have ears – can’t you hear?”
Mark 8.29 “Who do you say I am?”
Mark 10.38 “Can you drink the cup of suffering that I must drink?”
Mark 10.51 “What do you want me to do for you?”
Mark 14.41 “Are you still sleeping and resting?”

When Jesus asks “who do you say I am?” We might answer that with stereotypical religious answers such as ‘The Messiah’, ‘The Saviour of the World’, ‘The Son of God’ etc. which for me all ring true, but what if you were then asked ‘what do you mean by that?’ and ‘what is your relationship with Jesus today, after all he lived 2000 years ago?’ I would answer as follows:

For me, Jesus was just a story of a man that I was taught as a child and that I believed was true. However, whilst I knew of Him, I did not know Him. It was like saying I know the Queen but clearly I don’t have a relationship with her. That changed when I was in my teens, when through a church youth group I learned that to become a Christian I needed to ask Jesus in to my life. One evening when I was sixteen I did this and nothing happened…well not till two years later when I became a member of the church and on that day I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and tears of joy rolled down my face. I was on cloud nine. I felt that God had taken me to a place I had never experienced before and my relationship with Jesus changed, I now knew Him because I had experience of Him. Shelley and I have been married for 36 years this year and we are still finding things out about each other as we change and are shaped by our experiences of life. I feel it is the same in my relationship with Jesus. I am not changed because I am a minister but I am changed and changing because of my relationship with Jesus.

So, let’s deepen our relationship with Jesus, with each other, with our community and become a more questioning church that seeks answers together and of course ‘Be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you’ 1 Peter 3.15

With much love in Christ

Alan

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