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Wrington & Lynch Chapels Minister’s Website Article June 2020 I read recently that the Covid-19 outbreak has made many people try to seek spiritual answers. They want assurance of something more. Frankly, they want to find a reason for faith in God. Church websites have been accessed by many more people than normal. I hope such websites help, including ours. I hope many find a faith in Jesus that gives them strength and courage and a sense of God’s unending love. That’s the goal. The problem is, Christians often put non-Christians off. Mostly it’s not deliberate. Good intentions are there, but old habits die hard. And those who seek answers can find that they meet prejudice, arrogance, and judgement rather than love and acceptance. I suggest that helps no one at all. But there are other ways (and other Christians). The bumper sticker is true that says: ‘Christians are not perfect, but Christians are forgiven.’ I suggest that, when we have that sort of attitude, we’re good news for the world. The lie that Christians should try to avoid is: ‘I’m better than those pagans.’ That’s just not true, and it makes non-believers say, ‘They’re a bunch of hypocrites. I’m not going to that church. If that’s what it means to be a Christian, I don’t want any part of it.’ That’s definitely not what it means to be a Christian, even if Christians, including me, sometimes give that impression. The truth is, Christians are not better people. We have simply, somehow, had our eyes opened enough to respond to Jesus. And I suspect that even that eye-opening wasn’t our work, but God working in us. Frankly, most of the time Christians shouldn’t try to have slick, pat answers, as if we are somehow spiritually and intellectually together. We should humbly bow our heads and say, ‘Yes, we’re often not very nice, but we’re working on it, and Jesus still loves us, and he loves you.’ That’s the only position Christians should have. If you’re a non-Christian reading this, I hope you forgive us and help us get better. Then we can look to God together. So, to those Christians who read this, and to any non-Christians who find the courage to do so, let me say this: ‘People mess up, and sin, and get things wrong - Christians included. I mess up too, but Jesus loves me.’ Frankly, I think that’s a better response to seekers and to criticisms. I also think we should finish that with, ‘Let me tell you how Jesus loves me, and how he loves you…’ If you are reading this trying to find some eternal answers, I hope that helps you put your foot forward on at least one more step towards Jesus. After all, he is, as he says, ‘The Way, the Truth, and the Light.’ Every blessing Duncan

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