"Sustaining, Inspiring, Thriving ...."
While preparing our young people for Confirmation, we’ve been talking about what enables us to thrive and grow as people, people made in the image of God. We find it easy to talk about the things and people who encourage and inspire us. Lots of things came to mind including nature, sport, science, film and TV characters, music, and, and ..... and with them our imagination takes flight and new possibilities open up.
Another aspect we discussed was food. Whether we are talking about the basics, beans on toast, or about some of the really fancy stuff prepared by Michelin starred chefs, all food has a core reality – we need it to sustain us so that we not only survive but thrive. No food and we quickly weaken, are likely to succumb to passing infections and ultimately left without food we die. But food opens up all kinds of possibilities not just nutritionally, but through the whole social dimension of making and sharing food and hospitality – wonderful!
We talked too about the spiritual dimension of what it is to be human, about what it is that feeds us spiritually, about what sustains us and builds us up. There are many elements to this, some of which cross over with the other ideas above, but at the heart of it is the question of how we explore and develop that spiritual life we are called to share with God. We looked at how we are part of the story of God’s people that goes way back beyond humanity to the Big Bang and the formation of the Universe. We traced that story (briefly) through the history of humkind, through the Bible record, to our communities, our churches, our schools and to us in 2019, children of God loved by him.
In doing so we thought about how prayer, engaging with God’s Spirit through the Bible, and being an active member in the life of the church are necessary if we are to be God’s people. They are as essential to our spiritual well-being, to what enables us to thrive spiritually, as food is to us physically. And we wondered why it is so easy to let these slip ..........
Rev’d Stephen Cooper