Lent Day 15: Mark 4-6

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Apparently, Britain is a Christian country.

I’m not about to look at arguments about Christianity usurping Paganism and absorbing some of its festivals and rituals. I’m also not going to look at Church attendance (which has started to rise, slightly, after years of decline).

But it’s a line which is trotted out on many occasions. Britain is a Christian country and should be proud of its Christian heritage.

It’s safe to say, therefore, that if this were true then Jesus would feel right at home here. Amongst his people. He would look around and see many people, his “bride”, his family, all following his teachings. God’s Kingdom being lived out on earth.

He would look at people who heard the good news and allowed it to take root, to grow, to bear fruit. He wouldn’t see people who have allowed the worries of the world and wealth to push faith aside.

He would see how His people are happy to go without. To support each other in times of need as they bring the good news to others. How they would travel with the bare minimum, living off of the generosity of others through God’s spirit.

He would see how, when people have no food, his people would take compassion and feed them. That they would see what they had, not as their own to be jealously guarded, but as a gift to be shared for the benefit of all. Especially the most needy.

He would see that they look on the outcasts of society with compassion rather than fear and distrust. How they would be moved to help, comfort and heal them. How they would work to make them, not outcast, but part of a wider family.

This is what he would see if Britain was a Christian country. This is what he would see if this was his home.

But, I guess that “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.”.

I think, if we were a truly Christian country, we would do all the things Jesus himself demonstrates in these verses. We wouldn’t moan about what was being done with OUR money. We wouldn’t see strangers as a threat to OUR way of life. We wouldn’t see the poor, weak and vulnerable as scrounging off of OUR hard earned cash.

We would share. We would comfort. We would befriend. We would heal. We would help. We would teach. We would show compassion. We would respect. We would love.

We would realise that people’s needs go far beyond bingo and beer. They are much deeper. People need to be treated as human beings, not labels. People need to be given a chance to live. People need respect, love and support. Sometimes financial support, from our pockets. Sometimes practical support, from our time

If we can do all of that then maybe, just maybe, Jesus will look at this place as home.

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