My name is Rob Messenger…
A Christian, I am a 59 year old Australian pensioner; sometimes school teacher, pastor and clerk. Denominationally I am happy to be thought of as a ‘small b’ Baptist but I am sure that will mean different things to different people.
‘Sermons’ will, I hope, be grounded in a healthy view of what it means (in part at least) to live as a disciple of Jesus in the here and now, keeping in mind that it is only by the Grace of God, through faith in Christ alone, that we enjoy new life in him.
In 1977 Francis Schaeffer titled his documentary series ‘How Should We Then Live?’
In 2013 this question is even more relevant for Christians.
In the world while not of the world must we isolate ourselves from anything that is not overtly ‘Christian’ or at least from anything that is overtly not ‘Christian’?
Or, in Christ in the world, are we free, in him, to celebrate him in every aspect of our life?
In our time, when so much is denied to so many through the ills of the world, right-thinking Christians may agree that ‘we should live simply so that others may simply live‘.
But what does ‘simplicity’ look like? what does it sound like? how does it feel? how does it taste?
May we, in good conscience, participate in and enjoy, aspects of our culture like commerce, politics, the arts and even sport? Are we free in Christ, to eat, drink and even be ‘merry’ (a wonderfully old fashioned word that deserves far wider use)?
I believe the answer is yes and want to explore what that means…
I like this passage from ‘Mere Christianity’ by C.S.Lewis; the italics are mine.
- “The Christian says, ‘Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or to be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others to do the same.” C.S.Lewis in ‘Mere Christianity’.