An Attitude of Gratitude 

It's rather too easy to have a bit of a moan. Whether its the weather, service in a shop or a review of a cafe it appears that the critics are out in force. It's never been easier to post a comment, leave a review and generally share your moans with the world.

If it's easy to complain - then it's surely at least as easy to praise someone and give thanks.

A person called Paul once wrote a letter to a group of Christians in a place called Ephesus. Paul was an amazing person. It is estimated that he planted and inspired the founding of many, many churches. As a busy person he could easily have written a letter outlining just where this new group was going wrong.

Paul had a choice. And he chose to give thanks.

Here's what Paul wrote: I have not stopped giving thanks for you.

On Sundays we're thinking about the idea that the whole of our lives can be an act of worship.

So here's a challenge for the week ahead. Find a notebook and a pen. At the end of the day try to write down 3 things that you're able to give thanks for.

Consider it a review. Only you're on the lookout for the positive not the negative. 

Having worked in a garage forecourt with long hours and I know just how far a pleasant 'thank you' can go. And just how rare an event they actually were.

An attitude of gratitude can inspire us to treat those we encounter well. It can also inspire us to worship.

At the end of the day to sit back and find reasons to give thanks leads us to the one who has given us these blessings in the first place.

How might we learn to cultivate an attitude of gratitude?


 

Keith Wilson, 13/11/2018


Why did Jesus do what Jesus did? 

There are some things that Jesus did that we would expect Jesus to do.

We might expect Jesus to welcome children. You can hardly have a starring role at Christmas if you're not child friendly.

If we recall that Jesus is the Son of God then we might very well expect Jesus to perform miracles, calm storms and generally show the world just who is in charge.

We might even expect the one who called himself 'Savior' to actually do something dramatic like dying in order to rescue the people he loved.

There are some things that Jesus did that we would expect Jesus to do.

And then there are the things Jesus did that we just would not expect Jesus to do.

Why did the Son of God allow himself to be opposed, ridiculed and even humiliated by mere humans?

And why did the one who calls himself 'Savior' prove so unable to save himself from a brutal and horrible death?

But the one that's puzzling me this week is this - just why did Jesus get baptized?

Luke writes this: When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too.

Jesus was baptized.

The Son of God went and got himself publicly baptized.

Why did Jesus do what Jesus did?

Thankfully there are some clues.

Jesus identified himself with us.
And by identifying with humans Jesus also modeled for every human the right way to life.

If we are to live right - then we need to follow Jesus.

This weekend one of our young people will be getting baptized.
It's a sign that they have accepted Jesus' offer of forgiveness.

And it's a powerful symbol too that they have chosen to follow Jesus wherever Jesus goes.

Why did Jesus do what Jesus did?

Jesus did what Jesus did so that, in the words of Isaiah: "..all people will see God's salvation."

Would you dare to do what Jesus did?



  

Keith Wilson, 06/09/2018

Lord, if you are willing.... 

There's this scene in the Bible when a man with a horrible, unsightly and highly infectious skin disease comes and kneels before Jesus. It's an awkward moment. Jesus and his followers have got places to go and people to see. There's a huge crowd following his every move. Yet Jesus' celebrity status can't prevent awkward interuptions. Here, at his feet, is a man non one wants to be seen with.

Doesn't Jesus know?

Can't Jesus see?

This is a person to avoid.

Not only is this man filthy and unclean - everyone he touches becomes unclean too.

Have you ever felt just too bad to ever be made good? Too washed up and messed up to ever be made clean?

Life infects us and we get to a place where we wonder if God - even God - could possibly do anything.

And so this unnamed person kneels at Jesus' feet and says: Lord, if you are willing...

To which Jesus responds: I am willing

Three words. Three life changing words.

The impossible suddenly  becomes possible.  A person treated as little more than noxious garbage is given back their full humanity.

Whoever we are. Whatever we think we've become. Jesus says to us today: I am willing

Why not check out the full story in Matthew 8: 1-4?

 

Keith Wilson, 09/08/2018