There are blessings in life. Some blessings are like rain and sunshine in the right amounts.
Some can be the opposite and we view them as curses which are not earned or deserved. This can be said for things like our health, the family we come from, the ability to work so these are more a matter of just living life and often we have little to no control how it works out. All we can control is our response to these life events.
But the Beatitudes, found in Matthew chapter 5, tell us that there are some things if we do we are granted blessing for being what we should be, not just because we exist. But it also tells us the ‘Why’ we are to live in certain ways.
Matthew 5:14-16 says: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
I see in this passage the motivation or the ‘why’ we need to live the way we do and I try to live my life as a life that if people reflect on it I’d hope they’d say: “He does good work and he does it for the sake of the glory of God.”
Sadly my humanity gets in the way at times and too often it looks different than the spiritual life I want to live. I think perhaps this is true for most others as well. We don’t always think about what motivates us, rather we just do.
When it comes to matters of faith, folk think about it less than in the past and according to the 2011 census 37 per cent of Scots said when it came to faith that they were in the ‘None’ category. Then too often you will hear someone say: “_________ was/is a good church person but they are mean/nasty/stuck up/speak horrible to you/treat you like dirt... outside the church.”
When people reject that as Christian, I get it. So I want my life and others on the faith journey to be more than just saying the right things, but actually doing something so others see Christ in us.
So, with that in mind, it was refreshing to see that the Brechin Churches Together community service, hosted at Gardner Memorial, was attended by a good sized group that gathered, despite our different ways of ‘doing church’, yet we centred around our common acknowledgement of Jesus Christ as the core of Christian faith.
And I am encouraged as well as I looked around and saw some who were not ‘regular’ church attendees also there. I often hear people say “Jesus Christ” or “Oh my God,” (often in a wrong way) but it reminds me that God is not as far away from people as they want Him to be at times. Jesus is best believed by seeing His children in action, living a real life that looks like the Beatitudes matter.
Together we can represent faith better than alone.
So right and left hands up, we can make the Light of the world light up the world,
Rev. Jon Bergen
Brechin Baptist Fellowship