One of the hardest things to do is admit your own weakness. However, at the heart of the gospel is the call to do precisely that! Other world religions tend to teach that salvation is something we accomplish by our own efforts – by doing good works, by the excellence of our moral virtue, by the fidelity of our ritual observances, by our success in attaining a transformed consciousness. In stark contrast, Christianity says that salvation is secured by God for us, by his coming to us in Jesus Christ.

            For this gift to be received we must accept that we need it. Salvation is not the prize given to the successful. It is the gift given to the needy. If you don’t think yourself needy then you will remain a stranger to the gift. Jesus calls us to repentance and faith. He calls us to an acknowledgement of our need as guilty sinners, so that we can know ourselves accepted and delighted in by God.

            Timothy Keller tells an amusing story. He describes an ageing man whose hearing was beginning to fail but who was in denial about it. He complained that other people were mumbling. His wife arranged a hearing test, the result of which confirmed the need for hearing aids. However, when the cost of these was made known, the man insisted they were not affordable. His wife’s response was ‘Buy the best ones and consider it a gift from me.’

            At this point the man must admit his weakness in order to accept the gift. By accepting it he is effectively saying ‘That is a generous gift and as I accept it I am admitting that I am getting older and I can’t hear what people are saying.’ Accepting the gift required admitting the need.

            Amusingly, Keller admits that the story is true, and is about himself!

            The gospel is exactly like this. It is the best gift of all, but requires honest and radical admission of need. This requires humility and a readiness to surrender control. When we do so, it is like entering a new and wonderful life. There is no need to strive to make yourself acceptable; you need only admit your need and trust. Then all that Jesus secured by his life and death and resurrection becomes ours. And God not only accepts us but delights in us!

            Spring time is a beautiful time of year. After the dark, lifeless days of winter, days lengthen and there is an extravagant burst of life with colour and warmth. Christina Rossetti celebrated this in a poem entitled ‘Spring’

There is no time like Spring,
When life’s alive in everything,
Before new nestlings sing,
Before cleft swallows speed their journey back
Along the trackless track –
God guides their wing,
He spreads their table that they nothing lack, –
Before the daisy grows a common flower
Before the sun has power
To scorch the world up in his noontide hour…

            When we repent and believe, admitting our weakness and receiving the spring-like gift of life in Christ, all is fresh and new. It is a spring time of life, regardless of your age.

            Your minister


Thursday 13th May: Gift Day

            The Biggart hall will be open on Thursday 13th May from 2pm to 3pm. This is for two reasons

  1. On that day Martin, together with David Albon and others, will take part in a sponsored walk for Christian Aid. Should you wish to bring a gift towards this you may do so.
  2. We are immensely grateful to those who have found ways of bringing their offerings to keep the Church going during the pandemic. However, we realise this has not always been practical amidst the restrictions. You may wish to take advantage of the hall opening on that day to bring your offerings and gifts for the church.

            You may come on 13th May to take advantage of either or both of the above opportunities.