I was delighted to be invited to speak this Sunday at the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity service in Stowmarket, at the Salvation Army. At a time of discord and division for themselves and across the world, the churches of Brazil call on us to drink together at the well that is deep, the living water that Jesus Christ offers. I spoke from notes but they will give you a flavour of the message I gave.
The world is in a difficult place at the moment
Being confronted with darkest side of human nature
And having to work out how faith and society can work together
A purely secular outlook is not sustainable: faith is here to stay
So how can faith be part of the answer not part of the problem?
(And we acknowledge that challenge as true for Xtnty as Islam)
WPCU theme not just about Brazil over there but close to home.
Before going any further, a moment of silence …
The Christian faith is clear that the need is to come to Christ; drink deep at his well
He is both where we can find our own reconciliation and healing with God
And where we can find the Spirit to allow us to offer the same to others
Taking on his radical self-giving character
Story of woman at well shows it happening:
- Jesus turns tables on woman and awakens her (deep) thirst
- He draws her to himself as Messiah as banter becomes serious
- He helps her face up the truth about herself
- She goes off to share the new truth with others
What does that look like when we start to apply it to ourselves?
- We are shaken out of complacency by terror etc
- We can allow ourselves to turn more deeply to Xt in our thirst
- We can acknowledge our own lack of love to others
- We can set out to relate to others in a new way
I suggest that a key move in this is to realise that
- The deeper our own deep faith in Christ
- The more loving we will be to others, even enemies
This is tolerance but tolerance with both a
- Principle which underpins it, and a
- Power which sustains it
The well is deep, and it’s time to drink
- For your own sake
- For the church’s sake
For the sake of the world