Give thanks? September Magazine Leader

“Well, that’s that,” someone might be heard to say as they disembark from an aeroplane. The clink of the duty free bottles, a rolled up magazine, a glowing complexion and sandaled feet are some of the distinguishing marks of the globetrotter. The time away has come to an end. It’s time to get back to the usual run of things, which apparently has restarted, if it ever stopped in the first place.

We generally think that a holiday is good for us: to get away from it all and recharge our batteries. But it’s over all too soon. Perhaps some even plan their next break as they drive back home?

The idea of refreshment appeals to something deep within us. The rigours of everyday life lead to the need to rest and recuperate. Yet, our need and desire for restoration is a pointer to a genuine spiritual reality. Our souls need to be refreshed. Certainly a great holiday contributes to a sense of well-being, but it cannot deal with the deeper issues.

There is an old prayer that helps us to express our thanks to God and so discover spiritual refreshment. One line runs: ‘we bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace and the hope of glory’ [from A General Thanksgiving, The Book of Common Prayer]. The prayer helps us to reflect on God’s goodness and to lead a life that expresses thankfulness in what we say and do. The apostle Paul exhorts us along similar lines: ‘Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship’ (Romans 12v1). It is critical to learn about the mercy God has shown towards us in the sending of Jesus Christ if we want to be reconciled to God.

If you have a deep longing for refreshment, then how about taking action in this new church and school year? Come and explore how refreshment for our souls is found in relationship with God. As we embark on a special helicopter ride in our Sunday sermon series to track with us ‘The Story’, there is a great opportunity to discover God’s big plan for the restoration of the world. You can be part of it! Come and see.

Paul Kingman

Christ Church Magazine, September 2013