If this works it will be the first time I have ever blogged. I sit in my office, in splendid isolation, No, I don't have a temperature, it's just that no-one could live with the mess in my office. I look out of the window at the cherry tree about to burst into blossom.
And that's what its all about: can you find a new life when you are stuck at home? Since this is a blog on a church website you will know of course that the answer is yes, but you will be wondering how I will get there: I'm wondering the same thing.
Our created world is always changing, births and deaths are an essential part of it, from the beginning with the birth and death of stars, to our own birth and death. How can being stuck at home be a birth? It's about the new things you take on, and since it's Lent one of the new things you can take on is reading a Lent book. This year our parish is reading At the Cross - Big deals outside the city by John Benton.
This book is a very clear telling of the fundamental belief of the Church of England that we our saved by our faith. The chapter headings give some idea about the book: Faith alone - reson for joy!; Penal substitution - how we can be forgiven and forgive; Justification - right with God; Imputed righteousness - a legal fiction? Christ's obedience - all that God requires; Sanctification - shall we go on sinning?
Of course this book might not give you a new life, you might already have understood its message, or you might read it but ignore its arguments; but for some of us it has the power to let us start afresh, to become new people, to understand that what we need is faith and nothing more.
But from that faith comes a wish to follow in Christ's footsteps, to serve our neighbour, and nothing is more needed than doing this today if your neighbour is elderly or otherwise in isolation. A chat on the telephone or Facetime with your tablet can help anyone who is feeling depressed because of their isolation. Give yourself a new life and your neighbour as well.
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