Earlier this week I nearly had a breakdown. I was driving back from Saffron Walden to Standon when the steering of my car dramatically changed. It felt like a puncture but my tyres were fine. Anxiously, I drove on towards Standon praying about the car and fretting over the School Governors’ meeting I was late for. What should I do? Go to someone who could help, I thought. So I drove to a family, new to our churches, who live in Standon and he is a mechanic. Their kindness was overwhelming. A lift to the Governors’ meeting was followed by the loan of a car, and then the assurance my car would be fixed the following day. I was so grateful to God for such special people in our community.
I was particularly grateful because I knew my car would be fixed. This got me thinking; imagine if the kind man who took my car returned it with exactly the same fault the next day? Such a thought is ridiculous of course, but let me explain; I was thinking of the experience that many of us have when we go to church. We sing a couple of hymns, listen to a talk and some prayers, meet some pleasant people, but often go home exactly the same as when we arrived. We don’t expect or desire to be changed, but meeting with God should change and help us. That’s what faith in God is all about, or it could be. Not leaving us the same but helping us to be different. Let me give you a couple examples from the Bible: Jesus said in Matthew chapter11 verse 28, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.’ These are not simply words, they describe something we can experience when we ask Jesus to help us. As we come close to God, He draws near to us and through the gift of His Holy Spirit gives us a ‘rest’ that nothing else can give. Do you need that kind of ‘rest’? Jeremiah chapter 31 verse 34 says: ‘for I (God) will forgive their iniquity and their sin I will remember no more’. No matter how frustrated you are with yourself and the things you have done, or how messed up your life feels, God says He will forgive you and remember your sin no more. This is the Good Friday miracle, our sin wiped away because of Jesus’ death on the cross, so we can live new lives. Why not ask God to help you today? Why not join one of our church activities and expect to be changed and helped?
Alan Comfort - Rector