Minister's Message

                Summer 2018

“Then Peter stood up with the other eleven apostles and in a loud voice began to speak to the crowd...”  Acts 2:14

Recently I was reminded of an old hymn I learned at Sunday school, as I guess many of us did: “Tell me the old, old story of Jesus and his love..........”. Telling stories - the art of storytelling - is a universal skill, spanning all cultures, which most of us experience for the first time in childhood and continue to enjoy as we grow older. We love to be told stories, and to hear other people’s stories, don’t we?  - whatever age we are! And personal stories are the most interesting & often the most moving.

At our Pentecost service this year we welcomed 6 new members into the church fellowship at KMC, and it was good to hear some of their stories of what God had been doing in their lives and how their journey had led them to this point.

In my work as a minister I often have the privilege of sharing stories with other people, hearing their stories & sometimes sharing part of my own, and it’s usually a humbling & moving experience.  At funerals I’ve often heard people say what a shame it is that we only get to hear the full story of someone’s life at that point and somehow we miss the opportunity to hear them telling their story.

At Pentecost we celebrate the arrival of the gift of the Holy Spirit, as promised by Jesus, and the account of that event is an exciting story of how the disciples’ lives were transformed in a dramatic and supernatural way which enabled them to do what Jesus had asked them to do - to go and tell the world about Jesus’ teaching about God’s way of love, about how Jesus’s way of love changes everything and encourage people to follow him.

At the recent wedding of Prince Harry & Meghan Markle, Bishop Michael Curry gave an inspiring address in which he spoke about the transformative power of the love of God in Jesus, reminding us that our lives are meant to be lived in that love, and inviting us to imagine how different the world would be if we all followed God’s way of love.

I’m a great fan of happy endings, perhaps because I’m an optimistic person, but also because as Christians, we know that everybody’s story can have a happy ending, because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for us, his defeat of death & the power of evil, his resurrection and his promise of new & eternal life when we invite him into our hearts and lives as our Saviour.

The current fashion in our society is to sell your story, especially if it involves someone famous. What a contrast with our calling, as Jesus’ followers, which is to tell our story, for free, especially as our story involves the most important person who ever lived!

Jesus sent his disciples out to share the good news of his saving love and as his church he’s calling each of us to do the same. There are some depressing statistics about the decline in numbers attending worship in churches, and yet the figures show that increasing numbers of people are attending church for other reasons – so how do we encourage them to follow Jesus’ way of love?

Surely the best way (and the one that Jesus suggested!) is to share our personal stories of what difference it makes to have Jesus in our lives, our stories of where & when & how we’ve experienced God’s presence in our daily lives.

We may be tempted to think that our story isn't important or interesting enough to be told - but God has given each of us our own story to tell, so that we can testify to His love and grace at work in our lives.

Hymnwriter  Brian Wren put it like this: “Lose your shyness, find your tongue, tell the world what God has done: God in Christ has come to stay; we can see his power today.”

So how about sharing your story of Jesus and his love? After all, no one else can really do that for you! smiley

Jane <><