Driving along the M5 yesterday afternoon the idea popped into my head that I should write a blog. It seemed to come from nowhere and at first seemed preposterous so I laughed it off and carried on my merry way. Apparently overnight it managed to creep back in, take off its shoes and settle in the front room with a cup of tea because this morning I could think of nothing else.
The title of my blog comes from a song by the band Iona called ‘Wave after Wave’. It sums up beautifully what my faith means to me. Here is the whole verse:
Music in every sound
Light beyond each cloud
Hope in every dream
Songs like a healing breeze
Every breath inhale
And the goodness feel*
I am a Christian. And by that I mean I have chosen to live my life following the teachings of Jesus.
I have always been part of some form of church, and I have experienced so much goodness and love in the church community. By definition the church contains people, so is not perfect and regularly gets things wrong. Luckily, although I believe God loves the church, the church is not God. Neither does the church own God. We are just people, beautiful and beloved but often bruised and battered, coming together and trying to somehow meet with/experience/worship/listen to/learn from this being we call God. And as Christians we believe the best way we can learn what God is like is by looking at the life of Jesus, who spent most of his time being nice to people everyone else despised, getting angry at the people who thought they had it sorted, and talking about this thing called the Kingdom of God being at hand…that means here, now.
For me the Bible is a story of God’s incredible love for people, and how people through history have responded to God. The overriding message is that we are loved beyond measure by a mysterious, unfathomable, awesome Creator who one day will make everything right. That means however bad it gets, there is always hope.
So there you have it – my church experience and my beliefs in a very small nutshell. A peanut shell, perhaps. I will come straight out now and say I don’t think I will get everything right. These are my thoughts based on my experiences thus far in my relatively short life, and in another few years I may well disagree with my current self on certain points. So please feel free to disagree, discuss, debate – I think that’s OK. At least it means we’re thinking about things and having the conversation.
*Lyrics from the song ‘Wave after Wave’ from the album ‘Open Sky’ by Iona, copyright SGO Music and used by kind permission. The album is available from www.iona.uk.com