October 2016 - Letter from the Minister

Mission terrifies us. It’s embarrassing enough to speak to another Christian about God, faith or prayer, never mind to a friend or stranger who doesn’t believe.

Ananias, in Acts 9, is known for his actions on one day: crossing a street, going to a house, having a conversation, and offering a prayer. Yet, that one conversation was hugely significant, for he was to speak to Saul, previously a persecutor of the Church, who had met Jesus on the Damascus Road. That conversation began a mission that transformed Europe and wrote much of the New Testament. Yet Ananias was reluctant and with good reason. Going to the home of this Christian-killer was not likely to end well. He was risking life itself, in a way that Christians in many parts of the world still do today. By comparison, we risk so much less.

But if Jesus is good news; if he died to save us from judgement and death; if he is the meaning of life and the hope of the world; then it makes no sense not to share this news. Mission must be the priority of the Church, and our lives, congregation and resources need to be focused upon it. It is a privilege to be called to share God’s great saving plan.

But, it needs to start with little things: crossing a road, asking a question, having a conversation, and leaving the rest to God. Ananias nervously went, and said simply “Brother Saul” – those two words affirming that God was at work in the persecutor’s life – and that he was changing foes into family. How might our simple words encourage, affirm, or cause someone else to have their eyes opened to what God is doing?

With every blessing

Alistair