Friday, 11 November 2011
Letter to James
Not being able to be present I wrote him a letter. Young people in the church need lots of affirmation and also guidance in the life of faith - here for what it's worth are my stumbling attempts to do my bit.
[PS the other person in the photo is his dad, the best example of a Vicar it is my privilege to know]
"Hi James - from your rather distant Godfather here in New Zealand
I just wanted to drop you a brief line to let you know that I'll be praying for you this evening at your confirmation.
Fortunately, as the clocks have gone back in the UK, I will be awake here in New Zealand
Your Dad hasn't filled me in properly about this (or bought me a plane ticket in order to attend!!) ,but I am guessing that this is something you have chosen for yourself, which I think is great.
I guess a few words of Godfatherly advice wouldn't go amiss at a time like this, so for what it's worth, here goes . . .
errmmm . . .
. . . actually I don't have any advice that hasn't been given a thousand times before, so here instead is a story that I hope gives you a clue as to what to do with the rest of your life after the Bishop has laid his hands on you to pass on the Holy Spirit that is in him, because someone once laid hands on him etc.etc. Remember this Stuff goes back to Jesus breathing on the disciples
In the early years of the church there were some guys (and one or two gals) who realised that the church had sold out. It was trying to be cool and trendy and so get people to like it, which is always a bad idea if you are following someone whose idea of success is getting nailed to a piece of wood. Anyway they'd had enough and so decided to get away from it all and spend some serious time with God.
They went off into the desert (probably to get away from Cafe Church or the fourth century equivalent) and there hung out with God, getting used to his rhythms and ways and learning to pray (this is THE most important thing and don't let anyone else tell you anything different!!)
Some of them became great sources of Wisdom - that means they learned to see things God's way, not that they were 'Intelligent' - and folk travelled miles to see them and ask them stuff.
One day a young man - let's call him 'James' - came to ask one of these guys for a Word of advice. The old guy looked him in the eye and said - 'go away and learn what this means "You shall Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength" '.
Well 'James' thanked the Wise man and went his way.
TEN YEARS later he came back and said 'Father I have learnt that word, now please give me another' - the Wise man looked him in the eye once more and said 'Go and learn what this word means "Love your neighbour as yourself" '
'James' went away and was never seen again.
I think that's pretty good advice - put another way - fix your eyes on Jesus, keep reading your bible, keep praying, remember that you will ALWAYS be a learner in this Christian life - and al the other stuff will sort itself out.
Remember, all that glisters is not gold and a lot of the stuff that looks like Mud is Platinum - ask your dad to explain this as his work teaches him this on a daily basis.
May God the Father, Bless you
God the Son, Lead you
God the Holy Spirit, Indwell you
this night and always
Your God Father
PS I think you are great, and so does Jesus!"
Why not write a letter of encouragement to a young Christian you know? God Knows, they need it!