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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

22 February 2012: Rev'd Chris Williams, Liss Parish

Why Bother?

I wonder if you have kept your New Year's resolutions. Apparently, many of us will have given up by now. I guess we considered our resolutions too much effort, money or time (or any combination of these), and simply stopped doing whatever it was that seemed so important at the time. How does this make us feel about ourselves?

I think people often imagine God as someone who imposes rules and restrictions upon us but which, with the rare exception, we are be unable to keep or live up to. The result, rather like our New Year resolutions, can lead to feelings of guilt or failure or simply to not bother in the first place.

'Grace' is one of those religious words which Christians like using but about which many people haven't a clue. Used in a Christian context it refers to God's overwhelming and unconditional love and favour towards us - completely regardless of how much we have or have not done to earn it. If you think being a Christian is primarily about how you live or what you do or say, then you have missed the most important thing.

If we should start our year anywhere, it should be here: with God's grace. We then live in response to that grace - not to earn it.

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