Motto for 2013

We welcome 2013 and wish you all a peaceful and blessedLogo New Year.

Our motto for 2013 comes from Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, chapter 5 verse 1:

“It is for Freedom that Christ has Set us free”.

It is said that there is no such thing as Freedom – how true!

We are bound by our cultural heritage, by our emotions and conscience, by our characters and personality, and even perhaps by our financial circumstances, especially debt. No, we are not free agents.

But in this verse, Paul expresses the great truth that Christ has set us free.

The story of the great exodus from Egypt typifies human nature. The Israelites were released from the bondage of slavery; they were made a new people, miraculously helped to escape and initially they celebrated. But when things got tougher, how quickly they forgot: they forgot everything God had done for them, they forgot just how bad their slavery had been and they started hankering after the old country, the old routines, and certainty. You can find more of this story in Exodus 17. We find freedom very hard; we like certainty, routine and organisation and we tend to reinvent our past out of comfort in a thin veneer for freedom.

But God declares He has a better way. He called the Israelites to be a new people, and He calls us to be the same.

In writing to the Galatians, Paul warns against the Church reverting to its Jewish Heritage cautioning that requiring believers to be a Jew to be a Christian brings with it the full weight and rigour of the Law. For example, circumcision is not to be seen as a simple gesture, but the start of a very slippery slope into the full weight of the chains of the law. Paul declares even this small symbolism to be plain wrong – the only thing that matters is faith, and he gets so worked up that he wishes those misleading the Galatian church full emasculation – so they might have no children, neither human nor spiritual.

As Jesus explained to Nicodemus in John 3, we must be born anew, born of the spirit. We must not bring our baggage with us.

What does freedom in Christ look like?

It’s a future different to our past; better and fuller, no longer bound to the rites and conditions of the past. Christ can and does make this happen, working through every part of our lives by His Spirit, giving us freedom to offer us a great future.

So watch out for those desires and yearnings for the safety of the past. Look carefully at what is binding you. Is it debt? Don’t give the debt to Christ to pay down; give the desires that cause you to spend money you don’t have to Christ and you will live within your means. Look at your anxieties and fears and deal with the causes with Christ’s help. Then you will live joyfully, and confidently until He comes or calls, when unlike the generation of the exodus from Egypt, we will see the Promised Land.

Throughout this year live this verse. Take the stuff that is binding you, give it to Christ and He WILL set you free!

Our Theme for 2017

‘‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Matthew 25:40