Faith may seem like an anachronism in the modern world when science has solved so many problems. But we seem to have created many others with our science, and the greatest human problems of war, hatred and greed are still with us and thriving. We continue to fool ourselves and blame ignorance when arrogance is the real issue and we brush off evil as an extreme phenomenon of mental health. Some of the answers that I believe in I will share here , but many of the reasons why I follow Jesus have already been covered so well by the author Adrian Plass in his book of that name.
Over the years I have been a church treasurer, a deacon at New Brighton Baptist Church, an elder at what is now Hope Church, Wirral and since retiring I have trained in lay ministry as a Reader at the Church of the Good Shepherd, all on the Wirral. But none of these are as important as my family and wider church families among which I have that assurance of a relationship and love that Jesus came to demonstrate so humbly and sacrificially as part of his own trinity of the same love.
Being a Christian is all about relationships. It is a love pact with God – he has promised to love us and we in turn try to love him back. But it isn’t so easy for us to stay in that relationship when parts of our inner selves are driven by greed and lust so that we often put ourselves first. Consider the temptations for Christ in Matthew chapter four, when he could have put himself first by turning stones to bread, grabbing all the power for himself by worshipping evil, or protecting his own interests and himself by demonstrating that he was indeed special by calling on angels to rescue him. Instead he used that power to feed the hungry, heal the sick, and ultimately make the final self-sacrifice decision in the garden of Gethsemane – to give himself for us. If we could only focus on the real problems of our world, the broken relationships, the hatred of anyone who is different and the need to think about others instead of always ourselves then it would make a difference. Just one person to love, just one relationship to hold on to, just one neighbour to give some hope and joy as a gift of love.