Rev. Marian Dixon's Letter (our locum Minister)
The ecumenical Lent study this year is entitled, ‘Receiving Christ in five different ways’. So far we have looked at ‘Receiving Christ: as children of God’ and ‘Receiving Christ: in the stranger and the needy’. This set me thinking about our individual relationships with Christ and how that relationship came about. I believe that our personal experience of knowing Christ is vital in our witness to Him in every sphere of our lives, not least within the church context.
You see, I consider myself a Good Friday Christian, whether that term is theologically correct I’m not sure, but it’s where I’m coming from. Let me explain.
- The two disciples on the road to Emmaus knew the risen Christ when he broke the bread, they could be called broken bread Christians.
- Paul, on the road to Damascus was struck with a bolt of light, he could be called a light-bolt Christian.
- Three thousand came to Christ and were baptised on the first day of Pentecost, they could be called Pentecost Christians.
Do you follow my thought process? I am a Good Friday Christian because it was on a Good Friday when I came to know without any shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ hung and suffered there for me. That is not to deny or trivialise the rest of Jesus’ story, (or anyone else’s for that matter) because each individuals story in relationship to Christ is all part of the continuing story of God’s relationship with his people.
As you read this, Good Friday and the Easter celebrations of our Lord’s resurrection will be a few weeks away, both times remembered and held dear by Christians, throughout the generations, whatever their individual experience. But, remembering and holding dear is not enough, we have to tell and live the story too. Isn’t our experience of a living Saviour worth the telling, if we can’t find the words, then what about the actions. He showed us how to live and died that we might know him. Let’s determine today to speak more openly of our personal faith experience, decide to undertake some action that will help others to know Christ in us and in them. We love, because he first loved us, now that is worth sharing. I share with you one of my favourite Easter hymns, though it has an all year, round message. (The chorus is in bold and I have added the words in italics)
I serve a risen Saviour, he’s in the world today;
I know that he is living whatever men may say.
I see his hand of mercy, I hear his voice of cheer;
and just the time I need him, he’s always near.
He lives, he lives, Christ Jesus lives today
He walks with me (and you) and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, he lives, salvation to impart, you ask me how I know he lives
He lives within my heart (yours too)
In all the world around me I see his loving care,
And though my heart grows weary I never will despair;
I know that he is leading through all the stormy blast,
The day of his appearing will come at last.
Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian, lift up your voice and sing
Eternal alleluias to Jesus Christ the King!
The hope of all who seek him, the help of all who find,
None other is so loving, so good and kind.