Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Changing times - Sunday 6th March 2016

It was wonderful, on Sunday, to have so many visitors from St Catherines' past as we celebrated our church's centenary. It was good to be reminded how other people have served God before us. It was inspiring to discover that, over 40 years ago, an energetic young vicar had come to an ageing congregation, had scratched together a small group of young adults, and that that group still continues to meet today, even though they have all moved away and grown older.
Society has changed enormously over the past few decades, and we need to ask again what it means to serve our community with the knowledge and experience of God’s love. 
Jesus lived among people who had a strong belief in God, who believed that God favoured the righteous and the rich. He challenged that assumption: God loves the poor people, the disabled people, and those who’s lives fall short of social correctness. Jesus demonstrated that message in his actions. 
Today’s Western culture has different concerns. People do not worry about the consequences of their sinfulness, as Jesus’ contemporaries did; they search for happiness rather than righteousness. Also, belief in God has been stretched thin by the advance of science. 
How can we best serve this generation with the knowledge and experience of God’s love?
One central question in today’s society is: what is the meaning and purpose of life? The Gospel of Jesus can contribute to that conversation. The meaning of life does not lie in possessions or technological advance. The key to a good life lies in good relationships. That leads us directly into the heart of Jesus’ message.

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