Early in June we shall be having the annual Confirmation Service for the parishes of the North Chilterns Group, when people from our village communities will commit themselves publicly to Christ and to His service, and receive the strength of the Holy Spirit to help them remain true to that pledge.
For some this will be the natural development of their way of life: they have always tried to live this way, and this is an opportunity to make that commitment formal. For others, it represents a complete turn around, the adoption of a totally new way of life and the renunciation of a former life-style.
Life-style is about more than consumer choices – despite what the glossy magazines say. Life-style is about the things that really matter to us, and the beliefs which guide the ethical decisions we make and the way we live. Those who struggle to follow a Christian life-style – and it can be a real struggle at times – will put others before self and will admire and try to follow the example and teaching of Jesus. Those who follow another belief- or value-system will allow that to shape their living and their decisions.
We all need some commitment to give stability and coherence to our lives, a framework which makes some sort of sense of what happens to us. Otherwise we are just tossed about by the changing winds of fashion, advertising and personal whim. Perhaps that's one of the basic problems of contemporary society, the source of the widespread sense of meaningless in which nothing matters any more.
Life is mysterious, and it is often hard to find meaning and purpose behind its ups and downs. Our commitment, therefore, usually includes an element of risk. Christians call that step 'faith', the gamble that what we cannot see and understand holds firm with what we can see and experience. To take the plunge and live by such a commitment can bring out the noblest in the human character. So, what are you committed to? How does that shape your life and give it meaning? MALCOLM
- February 2004
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- June 2004
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- August/September 2004
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- December 2004
About the Vicar's Letter
The Vicar's Letter has been appearing in the villages Focus magazine since August 2002.
The Rev. Peter Graham also used to publish The Vicar's Letter in the parish magazine of 1964. Please see the Vicar's Letter area for these.