I’ve just returned from a service in Church. It was in many respects a ‘normal’ service but somehow everything came together to create an event of great beauty. The Church itself looked a spectacle with fairy lights and candles. I felt a sense of peace permeating everything and the tangible presence of God gave a sensation of unfathomable depth. But the Oldham weather enveloped me as soon as I stepped out from the Church. The contrast was hideous, and seemed determined to rob me of the benefits of worship.
As we start a New Year, many of us will adopt a resolution or two, seeking to becoming different, better people. It’s a good idea provided we are sensible and realistic. My resolution is to try to keep hold of the wonder of God that I sensed in Church, and carry it with me as I go around the Parish and wider ministries that God requires of me.
The idea is simple enough but in practice I’m sure I’ll struggle; godliness is always difficult because the powers of darkness work day and night to stop us being the people God want us to be. That’s why we are distracted so easily. That’s why we fall.
Everyone who truly wants a life of holiness needs to ask God’s protection — and often. The good news is that God wants us to be such people, and he readily answers all such prayers. We need to offer God such a prayer quite often, but God will not think we are nagging Him.Indeed, there are several parables in the Bible reminding us to ask continually.
Church beckons, so I must return to the holy house of God. Like a rechargeable battery, frequent times in Church will help recharge my spirituality if I ‘leak’. So in all these ways, I will be able to fulfil my resolution. And so can you.