I can’t believe we’re into September already, this year seems to be flying by! It won’t be long before our mind is turning towards Christmas – in fact it was only last week that Ruth Anders (our Lay Reader) emailed me to say she had already seen Christmas Crackers on sale!!! (Crazy)

Anyway, I hope you managed to enjoy the summer break, sadly the weather here in Britain hasn’t been that good. Although for the simple reason that this means I haven’t worn my shorts as much as normal and therefore my legs have not been on display – its probably a good thing!!!

However, whilst on holiday, I have a golden rule. It’s a silly thing really, but it’s something I have followed for years. During my two week break, I categorically refuse to wear long trousers and will only wear shorts (no matter what the weather). I think it’s probably because in the normality of daily life, I can’t wear shorts. (It wouldn’t look good turning up to take a service with my legs on display would it?) So for those two weeks I am able to break with the normality of things and wear shorts. I suppose it symbolises freedom and helps me to relax into my holiday. Upon returning home, its always a little strange, when for the first time in a fortnight I have to put long trousers back on. However, in so doing, it helps to shift the mind out of holiday mode and back in to work mode.

I’m sure most of us can relate to that, and most of us will have found different ways of throwing off those things which restrain/restrict us, so that for those fleeting moments we feel like we are truly ‘free’ or truly ‘living’.

As Christians, we are reminded in Scripture that we are to live life to the full. Hebrews 12 verse 1 ‘let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith’. I think there are so many things in our daily lives that can, if were not careful, drag us down. Like ivy which slowly wraps itself around a plant, they begin to squeeze the life out of us.

Jesus says ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ (John 10:10). The question is are you living like that, or are you still looking for alternative ways to find satisfaction, or do you feel like life is slowly being squeezed out of you?

September is a time of the year, when we can have a fresh start, schools start back, groups/clubs and organisations start back after the summer break. It’s a fresh start.

Maybe this September is a time for each of us to have a fresh start in our journey of faith. To take stock and reflect upon the amazing grace offered to us through Jesus Christ, and to begin to follow his instruction. Because its only in following him, in living for him, that we begin to fully grasp what he meant when he said, ‘that they may have life, and have it to the full’. You see, its when we give ourselves to him, when we ask the Lord into our lives and when we commit to serving Him, that for the first time, we suddenly realise what ‘true life’ is all about, and for the first time we experience real ‘freedom’.

Throughout September we will be starting a new preaching series entitled ‘Calling you…’ Through this 4 week series we will be exploring what it means to live for Christ and how he might be calling each one of us to serve him in different ways. Do pray that God would reveal to you his will and if you feel that God is calling you to serve him, why not come and share in the various ministries that St. Anne’s has to offer.

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