What it means to be a Christian

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A lot gets spoken about what being a Christian means, and perhaps that's not surprising because our spirituality is an essential part of life and deeply important to us, but the many points of view can be overwhelming and therefore a hindrance rather than a help.

Jesus

The best place to start is with Jesus, and we find out about him through the Bible. He made it clear that what we needed to do was try and follow his example of the way he lived his life, and everything he did can be summed up by 'love'; he asks us to love God and love everyone else. Loving anyone, God or anyone else, of course, depends on building up a relationship with them, and so that's what Christians try to do. Our relationship with God is built through prayer and worship, and strengthened through his response to our prayer, and our relationship with others is built through offering the love that people need. If we follow Jesus' example, this takes us into some of the most needy situations in the world. All this relationship building is to reflect the love of God and God's greatest desire is that everyone should experience his love.

However, in our day and age, in all our busyness, amongst all our possessions, God can seem like a complete irrelevance. Why do we need a remote supernatural figure when we have all we need here? But we know deep down, don't we, that this is not all there is? When we contemplate for a moment the vast mathematical beauty of the cosmos, or when we witness truly unselfish, sacrificial love shown by one human being to another or become aware of a deep longing in us that nothing seems to satisfy; all these things tell us instinctively that there is more.

All starting the Christian journey requires is that we will be open-minded enough to question and explore what that 'more' may be, and as Christians we find that our searching is rewarded manyfold as we start to experience the peace and the blessing of God, and we find that deep longing fulfilled.

This is where the church community comes in. Fellow Christians can help on this journey of discovery, not because they think they are perfect or know everything, but precisely because they don't. We all need to explore and learn together, supporting each other along the way, and that is exactly what St. Mary's church community is doing.

We would be thrilled if you would like to join this journey of exploration into the Christian faith. If you would like to talk about it please contact Alan, Ruth or any of the ministry team, or come along to church on a Sunday. You will be made very welcome.