Rev Sue Gowling reflects on what changed for her
Dear Friends and Neighbours - Welcome to the Easter edition of Pivot.
What does the word ‘fulfilment’ mean to you and what does it mean to lead a ‘fulfilling life’? Having asked folk this question, I’ve received many different answers over the years – but interestingly most of their responses have themes in common. They include things like:
Having a purpose in life
Good relationships with family and friends
Experiencing good health
Being positive and optimistic
Experiencing a sense of achievement and accomplishment.
Until I was 41 years old all these things were an important part of my leading a ‘fulfilled life.’ I really didn’t think there was anything else I could possibly need. But you know, even then, deep down, I guess I knew my life didn’t really ‘add up’.
It was only when I became a Christian, that I realised there was something more to leading a fulfilled life, and that is my relationship with God through his son Jesus.
Like all Christians, we look at the life of Jesus and try our best to use the way he lived his life as a model or template for how we live our lives.
There is a really interesting passage in the Bible written by St Paul (remember, he didn’t always believe in Jesus either) to the church family in Rome. He says: ‘Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves their neighbour has fulfilled the law. All the commandments, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore, love is the fulfilling of God’s law.’
Following Jesus is not easy, we are challenged and tempted, and we struggle with the trials and tests that life throws at us. But we know that Jesus promises to journey by our side helping us to carry our burdens and share our heavy load.
As we travel through Lent and Holy Week, we in some small way, are journeying alongside Jesus. Through our church services and quiet contemplation and storytelling, we witness his pain and suffering at the hands of others and we experience a sense of powerlessness. But all is not lost! Our faith tells us that through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, Jesus is the fulfilment of God’s promise of an eternal relationship to each one of us – whoever we are and wherever our journey through life has taken us.
Jesus promises us all that he offers us ‘life in all its fullness’ and to that promise, my friends, we hold fast!
God bless and Happy Easter!