True or not?
Reading the letters printed in local newspapers is both revealing and interesting. Just this week I read one such letter regarding the Easter Story and whether it is possible to believe it is true? He/she writes ‘I understood that religious belief only required faith to support it.’ ‘Surely it is reasonable to say we believe what we want to believe regardless of the need for the truth.’ (Walden Local 20 April 2017) Of course it is possible that some people ‘believe’ without being sure something is true, but this claim is not isolated to Christians only. Most of us believe what the experts say on a daily basis: like our doctor or electrician, even when we have no idea whether they are right. But having ‘faith’ in them does not mean there is no truth.
John Chapter 20 describes the moment when Jesus, who the Bible tells us was raised up from death, appeared to His disciples. Thomas was a trusted friend but he wasn’t there when Jesus came to them. When they told him, Thomas said he could not believe unless he saw for himself, unless he put his hands where the wounds would have been. Did his ‘doubts’ change the ‘truth’ of what the others saw? Of course not. It happened. 1 Corinthians chapter 15 verse 6 tells us the risen Jesus appeared to over 500 people before he ascended into heaven. Ever since, countless lives have been changed by meeting Jesus. Some need little proof, they just trust in Him, others have studied the scriptures asking the deep questions of life and concluded exactly the same. Truth is arrived at and understood in different ways whilst remaining unchanged!
Over the next five weeks our churches are trying to answer the ‘true or not’ question in different ways. We have a new ten week Alpha Course starting that questions whether we can logically believe the central claims of the Christian faith. Why not come? Ask those questions that stand in the way of faith. (Ring Alan 01920 318864 to book a place). Or why not come to hear ‘Tough Talk’ on 21st May, 3pm at Roger de Clare School. “Tough Talk’ was started many years ago by Arthur White. Arthur was a World Power Lifting Champion; a seriously dangerous guy and drug cheat who walked away from his family, before something incredible happened. He met Jesus and was changed. Why not come and hear some amazing stories of how God can change lives? Lastly, our Pentecost Prayer Sunday is on 4th June. The Archbishop of Canterbury has challenged the churches to pray. Many are committing to pray for five people to overcome their struggles or put their trust in Jesus. Then on 4th June at our services and throughout the day we will be offering different ways of praying with a focus on the General Election on 8th June also. Prayer changes people. Whether you believe this or not doesn’t change the fact that it is true. Why not come and get involved or question…..
Alan Comfort, Rector