Many Christians describe their relationship with God as a journey. The journey begins with Baptism, that first commitment to a life with God. Christians move through life acknowledging God is with them during good and bad times.
The individual Christian’s relationship with God is affected by what happens in life, but Christians can always turn to God, whatever may come their way. The Christian community provides support all through life, not just for the Baptism of a young child or a marriage or a funeral, but at all times through the regular pattern of services, through prayer and through the social life of the Parish.
The Christian’s journey can be just as difficult, as complex and as fraught with problems as anybody else’s, but Christians travel with God, with Jesus at their side and with the support of fellow Christians.
There are times in life’s journey when people need someone to turn to - perhaps a doctor or a close friend - but there can be times when there is a need to talk to someone about what is going on spiritually. It may be at a time of crisis, perhaps when a loved one is ill or dies.
The Parish clergy, and others in the Christian community who are specially trained to support the sick or the bereaved, may be able to help. Sharing problems and crises with people who have a Christian approach can strengthen and uphold.
There is an active ministry of prayer available at St Martin’s as well: committed people who, through regular prayer, support the ill, the bereaved and those with problems.
There are many in the world who look for scientific proof of the existence of God before they will even entertain the possibility that He exists. That scientific proof just doesn’t exist.
The social evidence, however, for the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and the work of God’s Holy Spirit since then seems irrefutable. The world was changed forever by the coming of Jesus, a real historical person.
The lives of individuals are changed too, not just the lives of famous saints revered by the Church, but those of ordinary people, from those moved by their faith to extraordinary acts of courage or self-sacrifice to those who pray privately to God in the quietness of their lives. God calls all people to Him.
This sounds scary – but it is about fulfilling our promise as individuals and as a community rather than about turning us into something we are not.