Anniversaries are great
On the 5th August Ann and I will be celebrating our Ruby Wedding . We will have been married 40 years but have known each other 45. We plan on having a garden party at the Manse that day; it’s a Sunday so you are all welcome so make a date in your diaries.
You may have seen the stuff on face book wishing Ann and me a happy birthday, and realized that there might be a mistake. The truth is we often use different details when we sign up for social media accounts in case the data is hacked in which case it won’t do anyone any good. Important stuff like banks have my real details.
This year April 1st was a Sunday, that doesn’t happen very often and even less frequently as Easter Sunday.
April the 1st is the date I became a Christian. I had not been brought up in anything like a Christian Home. I think I had been to Sunday school at the Anglican Church but left when they tried to force me to sing in the choir, even the offer of payment didn’t change that. I was intelligent and went to a grammar school and generally was a normal sort of lad but with a passion for chemistry and fireworks, enough said here about that.
I had a Friday night and Saturday morning job as a till operator at a local supermarket and supplemented my wages by stealing from the till, I had it down to a fine art. It was whilst I was there a couple of girls ran in and gave all the till operators a scruffy piece of paper advertising a concert that night at a local hall. The upshot was I went and during the night heard a group of slightly older young men sing about Jesus. The phrase that they used over and over was “Following Jesus will radically change your life”. I didn’t want church or religion but this, this was different, if they could be changed then maybe I could be too. The next week at a similar event at the Elim Church in Driffield when they asked did anyone want to follow Jesus for themselves, I stood up. Life changed.
Shortly after it was Easter and I remember hearing the Easter story again and was filled with joy, wonder, excitement, all bubbling up as I knew the story was true and that Jesus had died for me so I could be forgiven and have a second chance. I remember that feeling to this day. Over the years, as life took its toll, I have come back to that place over and over again recommitting my life to be a follower of Jesus. Following Him radically changed my life.
It’s Easter again. So my challenge is simple. Can you look back to a time and a place when life changed for you by becoming a Jesus Follower? It’s possible to slip into faith, church because that is how you were brought up, you may have always known the stories, and the songs but can you point to a day when you experienced Jesus’ forgiveness and newness for yourself. If not, then why not today? Stop and think through your life, your decisions and ask Him to make himself real today either for the first time or the hundredth. Don’t rush, after all it’s a Bank Holiday and there is nothing, absolutely nothing more important than this. Jesus died for you. So you can be free.