June Letter from Mat

My favourite part of the Narnia film (and indeed the original CS Lewis’ Lion, Witch and Wardrobe book) is when the children discover that Aslan, the great promised King they’ve heard spoken of, is a lion. “Is he safe?” one of the children asks Mr Beaver. “Safe? Of course he’s not safe, but he is good” comes the reply.

As you know the story is an allegory of the Christian story where Aslan represents Jesus. Is Jesus safe? Of course he’s not safe, but he is good.

As the Spirit-filled disciples burst from the upper room on Pentecost they were not safe either. Secure? Yes. Secure in the knowledge of Jesus’ resurrection and the Holy Spirit’s power at work in them. Secure, but not safe.

100 new Christians! That is the challenge that I believe God is calling us to. Is it safe? No. It might involve our taking risks and stepping into unknown areas, beyond our comfort zones. But if God is calling us to it then God will make it happen. Dare we risk stepping out and speaking of Jesus Christ? Dare we risk accepting that St Matthew’s will continue to change, and grow and develop? Dare we risk continuing to pursue a strategy of growth that involves increased giving of time, gifts and resources (including money)? From the security of God’s goodness I want to say a prayerful and excited ‘Yes!’ to these risks.

Risk involves trust; trust that we have heard God correctly, trust that God will provide. Risk requires prayer and discernment; prayer for protection and guidance, prayer for leaders, prayer for all of us, prayer for our local community, discernment for Vicar, staff and PCC that we have heard God correctly. Do pray. We need to keep talking and listening to each other—and that is especially true of staff and PCC.

Ultimately the confidence to step out in risk needs God’s Holy Spirit leading and guiding, empowering, assuring and equipping.

St Matthew’s is an amazing community, full of talent, which is why the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30Open Link in New Window) is such a powerful one for us. The master gives talents expecting us to invest them (risk using them) in order to grow. It closes with the verse “For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance.”

Mat

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