Are you dieting for the summer? In London the Mayor’s plans to change regulations on advertising in London from this month have met with mixed reactions. One advert asks: ‘Are you beach body ready?’ The advert for weight loss products became controversial from the point of view of causing problems for body confidence (it depicts figures that are unobtainable), it is said to exploit people to make a sale. The proposed change of policy also became controversial: will this lead to other censoring? By whose standards will they be assessed?

Our actions have consequences. It’s true of life generally. We’ve seen that with the EU referendum on whether we remain in or step out of the EU [the outcome unknown at the time of writing]. The actions of voters have consequences for the future. Even the non-voters had an influence, as no decision is a decision.

Many people appear indifferent to the life and teaching of Jesus. But, our actions have consequences. Jesus told a story about a king’s wedding banquet for his son. The invitations had been sent out. When all was ready, the king sent his servants to follow up on the invitations to check final numbers. Many did not want to be bothered, so they continued their work on the farm or at the market. The king then extended his invitation to the less deserving. He filled the wedding hall with guests. ‘But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. “Friend”, he asked, “how did you get in here without the wedding clothes?” the man was speechless.’ The man was thrown out into the darkness and showed deep regret and remorse. Jesus ended his parable: ‘For many are invited, but few are chosen’ (Matthew 22v11-12, 14).

Jesus teaches us that we can only enter his kingdom on his terms. We can’t gatecrash the party. An invitation has been issued. We are called to respond to Jesus. We can become one of the forgiven people of God by his grace – we must rely on his favour to the undeserving, which comes to us through Jesus’ self-sacrifice for our sins. This is symbolized by our needing to be decked out in wedding clothes. Are you indifferent? Are you delaying? Are you ready to respond? For our actions have consequences.

Join us to find out more about how to respond to Jesus so as to enjoy the fullness of life that he alone can give.

Paul Kingman

Christ Church Magazine – July 2016