New car (part 3) (05-10-2021)
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:16-21)
I have been reflecting on what I have told you about our new car. Firstly I talked about my initial difficulties of changing from an automatic car to a manual one and then secondly I talked about how even after a period of three months and after having driven over 2000 miles I was still finding it not particularly natural to change gear. You might be wondering if there is anything about the new car that I actually prefer to the old one. There is the obvious better condition of the new car, it having done fewer miles than the old car, and the impressively cheaper car tax, but the thing that I really appreciate about the new car is cruise control!
Cruise control is wonderful. If, like me, you have joints that are not as good as they could be, and you regularly drive fairly long distances on roads where the traffic is moving at a steady speed, then cruise control is a real blessing. Cruise control allows you to set the speed you want the car to travel at and then to take both feet off the controls, all you have to do is steer the car where you want it to go. Until you touch one of the pedals again it will continue at a constant speed without you having to do anything.
I have to admit that the first time I used cruise control it felt extremely strange, as the car was in effect driving itself. But I got used to it really quickly and now I wouldn’t want to be without it.
Change is inevitable, we have all experienced lots of change over the past few years. But change can be for the better and it doesn’t always take a long time to experience the benefits of change. Some change we can learn to live with very quickly and appreciate the benefits straight away. Some will take much longer and we have to work harder in order to have the benefits.
The change that knowing Jesus brings into someone’s life can be immediate. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, ‘if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!’ But the change does not stop after that first encounter with Christ, we are continually being changed for the rest of our lives. Change can be both very quick and also quite slow. Last night a new Alpha course started where a group of people met together in order to ask questions and search for answers about God. Let us remember these people and pray for them that they will come to know Jesus as their saviour and that they will experience a real change in their lives for the better and that this change will continue throughout the rest of their lives as it does in us.
Father, we pray for all those who are seeking you, either for the first time or ongoing. May all those who seek you, find you and in finding you may they find peace.
While looking through Mission Praise the other week I was surprised to find a song very familiar to me that I’m not sure many of you will know (MP 946). As we pray for those seeking God through Alpha let us think of the worldwide church and remember also those seeking God across the world.