Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Why Church is good for you

Getting cold
A kindly minister noticed one of his regular members hadn't been at Church for a few weeks, so he called for a cup of tea. In front of a cosy fire they chatted about football, his family, you name it. Five minutes into the conversation, the minister took the tongues and removed a burning coal and placed it safely on the hearth by itself.

As they talked it cooled down and went out. Just before leaving, the minister put the lump back into the fire. From then on his host regularly joined worship in Church. We need each other.

Does God need our worship?
Of course not! He would be rather pathetic if he wanted us to praise him in order to boost his self-esteem. How patronising to even imagine that the creator and sustainer of the universe could not manage without us. So why does he command us to worship him with our heart, mind, spirit, and strength?

We need to keep ourselves, and what we do in perspective. It has been my privilege to be alongside many who have been told they have a terminal illness [and to some extent we all do!]. Surprisingly they often said that after the shock of diagnosis, they really began to live. Why? Because all the secondary things in life didn't matter any more.

I love this simple image. Thank God for our NHS, and all who care for us. Do pray that our government make the right commitments for the long term. Thanks too to care homes, and volunteers like Community Angels. Our hats off to all of you!

OK, perhaps terminal illness is a bit drastic, but getting a true view of values is empowering. It's one reason God calls us to worship. In the 'chances and changes of this fleeting world' [to quote an old prayer], he never changes. It's why Psalm 121 is so popular; it speaks of the permanence of hills as a picture of God always being there for us. Aren't we fortunate to leave by the sea, and beneath the hills.

Research shows benefits
We are at peace this century, an awesome gift when compared to last century. However peace in our hearts is important too. Even the Daily Mail has published evidence, based on 30 years of research, which shows that regular Church attendance is good for our health; see

St Andrew's Church has been designated a gym in the mobile phone game Pokemon-Go. It turns out that's exactly what it is, however the exercises are for minds and spirits.