Our Primary Purpose – Magazine Leader February 2017

‘So, now what?’ With Christmas behind us (or is it only 10 months away?), the January sales ended and Valentine’s Day coming up fast, what is the main thing for life? We have family, jobs and hobbies that all occupy our time, while our plans and hopes are modified along the way. But do you ever think, “I need a spiritual detox”? Let me hand you over to a former generation for some wisdom: “The humble ADVICE OF THE Assembly OF Divines, Now by authority of Parliament sitting at Westminster, concerning a Shorter Catechism, Presented by them lately to both Houses of PARLIAMENT. A certain number of Copies are Ordered to be Printed for the sake of the Members of both Houses and of the Assembly of Divines, to the end that they may be advised thereupon.” LONDON. Printed by A.M. [Title page of the Shorter Catechism, 25 Nov 1647]. A catechism was a means of teaching the Christian faith. This ‘Q&A’ method has varied in popularity over the centuries, but it was also used in the Scottish kirk amongst children on Sunday afternoons. The Westminster Shorter Catechism was written in 1646 and 1647 and intended to bring the Church of England into greater conformity with the Church of Scotland. A year later they published a version with scripture verses. The answers were learnt by rote: Q1: What is the chief end of man? A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever. Q2: What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him? A: The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him. In the Holy Bible we read: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” (Rev 4v11). At the end of the month we have a series of thought provoking films called ‘Life Explored’. These films helps us explore how easily we invest in many things in our pursuit of life, but so often find that they not only disappoint but also divert us from our true purpose, which is to know God and to enjoy him forever. Do join us as we learn more together. Paul Kingman Christ Church Magazine, February 2017