Monthly Letter

 

Here is the monthly letter from the Clergy team as it appears in the

September 2017 edition of St Nicolas Cranleigh Parish Church Magazine:

 

A Curate’s Reflections:

“Do you know me and who have you brought with you?”

 

A successful man dies and stands in front of our Lord and Saviour, but the man is not worried at all; he has spent almost his entire life praying to and praising the Lord.  In fact, as a businessman he was very successful, so much so that he was able to build a new church for his town.

 

He prayed and prayed, he worshipped and worshipped; he eventually became so successful in business that he was able to give up work and spend all day praising the Lord.  He never married, he never had time! He was busy with his business and praising and praying.

 

He didn’t actually have any friends, not because he was an unpleasant man, but because he had devoted all of his spare time praying and praising the Lord.  He hadn’t kept in touch with his family either, not because he didn’t like them, but because there was just so much praying and praising to do.

 

He decided that a lifetime of praying and praising the Lord was all that he needed to do and, if he was really honest with himself, he thought that everyone else should be doing the same; praying and praising.

 

Then the man died.  Nobody knew until many months later, and by then the body was unrecognisable.  Nobody could remember him. They knew he had something to do with the church, but nobody could remember his name.  They just remembered that he had been pretty rich and spent all of his time alone.

 

So, the successful man stands in front of the Lord, and Christ says to him, “I have two questions for you”

 

The man is prepared for this!  He thinks, “Will my Lord ask me about the church I built, will He ask me about the prayers I have spent my life praying, will He ask me about my lifetime of praise?”      

 

Jesus said to the man, “Do you know me and who have you brought with you?”

 

The man says, “Lord of course I know you, you are my Saviour, you are the Messiah, you are my God!”

 

Jesus says to the man, “So, you know who I am, even the demons know who I am.  But what about my second question, who have you brought with you?”

 

“Lord,” replies the man, “I don’t know anyone else.”

 

Jesus looked sadly at the man.  “Then how can you say that you know me, if you have never shared me with anyone”

 

Our friend here had led his life totally devoted to Christ, which is a wonderful example for us all, but in devoting HIS life to Christ, he had completely missed the point that Christ wants us ALL to praise and worship him and the only way that can possibly happen is if we ALL know about Him.

 

The successful man thought that he was leading a worthy life, and indeed to a point he was, but in devoting his life to prayer and praise he forgot the commission that Christ Himself gave to us: “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19)

 

How is it possible to baptise people into the body of Christ, if you don’t tell them about Him?

 

St Paul addressed this very problem in his letter to the Romans and there is one line that clinches why we should share our faith with everyone that we meet.  Read Romans 10:10-17 and pay particular attention to verse 14: But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed?  And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard?  And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him?”

 

Our successful man had spent his life praising a Lord whom he was not prepared to share with anyone, he didn’t do it deliberately or maliciously, but nevertheless he had denied the chance of others learning about our Lord and Saviour because he wasn’t prepared to share Him with anyone.  Good works, a successful life, even a life of dedicated praise and prayer are no excuse.

 

We are obliged to share the Lord, share the love of Christ, share the wonderful news of His redemption of us with others.  We don’t have to stand on street corners and shout about it, we don’t have to go from door to door and imposes our faith upon people; but we do need to share it.

 

Our friend had never shared his faith with anyone and so, when he stood before the Lord, he could not say, “Master, I know you, you are my Lord and my God, and I know that you died so that I might stand here before you now.  I shared your love with people and I’ve brought this person to you, his name is….”

 

What about you?  Could you stand before the Lord and say, “I’ve shared your love with people and I’ve brought this person to you, their name is…”?

 

Christ’s love is so, so wonderful.  How are you trying to share it with those that you meet?

 

Rev'd Ian Maslin

 

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