Who enjoys going to the seaside? I love going to the seaside, we love our holidays in Cornwall. Taking our caravan down and then chilling out and unwinding in what are now very familiar places. We love the beach, the sun and the surf. We also love the ice-cream!!! (you can’t beat Cornish Ice cream can you – clotted cream!!
One of the other things the kids love, is when we go out at night and visit places like Mevagissy, St. Ives, Padstow etc. They are really quaint, pretty little fishing harbours that are bustling with people. Alive and exciting places to be. Filled with people who are there with a similar purpose – holidaying! Relaxing and enjoying themselves. It’s a lovely atmosphere and a lovely place.
The kids also enjoy rock! The sweet stuff, that comes in sticks – you know what I mean.
Now I enjoy anything sweet, so I’m quite partial to a bit of rock myself. But you know there’s, one thing that always intrigues me about rock. How they get the writing to travel all the way down the inside. Do you know what I mean, so it says ‘Blackpool Rock’ all the way down, no matter where you choose to break it open.
And that for me is the image I want to grasp hold of today. You see the Rock’s character, its mission, its whole sense of purpose, is written on its inside all the way through. No matter what you do to it, no matter how many times you break it, right there at its core, its written if you like on its heart.
Now that helps me to understand a little more about the readings we’ve just heard. You see, Paul tells us to ‘press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus’. Now that’s quite some statement, from Paul, because lets remember this was the man who had gone about persecuting and killing the early Christians. A man you took great delight in trying to wipe out the Christian faith before it really got going. Yet here he is, a complete turn around. And now he tells us to press on towards the goal. To remain focussed on him. And that is Paul’s mission. That’s his life story. What a transformation. And like a stick of rock, I think, if you cut Paul open you’d see one thing running all the way through him. And that’s his faith.
You see he had an encounter with the Risen Jesus on the road to Damascus and that encounter, transformed him on the inside out. He became a disciple of Christ. Charged with the mission of preaching the word whatever the cost.
So you know, that’s were I draw a link to ourselves, and to myself. Like Paul, if you cut me open, you’d see one thing running through me, right at my core, and that’s my faith in Jesus Christ. I’m passionate about God and about what he can do in peoples lives. I’m passionate about seeing peoples lives transformed by the presence and the power of the Holy spirit working in their lives.
Jesus himself charges us, his disciples with the mission of preaching the gospel message and telling others about him. And that is my goal, my aim. I wonder is it yours, because if we call ourselves Christians it should be?
I wonder if someone were to look right inside you – what would they see running through the middle of you? Perhaps today, God is challenging you to go deeper in your faith. To tell someone about your faith? If nothing else remember today Pauls words of encouragement to ‘press on in the faith towards the goal’, because its when we do that, that He can and will act in our lives and transform us into the people he wants us to be.