Welcome Stephen's Letter - May

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Dear Friends

Several of my friends and acquaintances are fascinated with trains and railways. It is an interesting hobby (for them) and one which keeps them endlessly amused. Perhaps it is the power of the locomotive or the longevity of the tracks: whatever it is, a "Railway Enthusiast" is a breed unto itself.

The railways they love are generally railways of the past: show them an engine driven by steam or a carriage with a polished wooden finish, or an old timetable with turned up corners and they exude happiness. Listen in with a few them for a few moments and the conversation will turn to the best location to identify rolling stock, or the best website to research railway companies. It is all a bit of another world.

For most of us a railway is a means of being transported from somewhere a few miles from A to somewhere a few miles closer to B. (That sentence effectively explains the weakness in the railways system, but that's for another day!)

For many people the perception they have of Christians with Faith is quite like their view of Railway Enthusiasts: harmless for the most part, a little bit odd perhaps, and certainly not to be taken too seriously. When we become preoccupied with the past, overly focussed on the engines/buildings rather than their purpose, people give us a wide berth.

As you share your faith this summer, you can do so by simply asking where the timetable for worship is in your location, or better, by speaking about the power which brings you through your journey,i.e. Jesus, your strong and caring friend. But when you do it, let people know that it is not the paraphenalia of religion that you love, but the person who inspires you to live and love and serve, even Jesus Christ.

It's not easy but - between ourselves - I'd rather be a follower of the Saviour who saves than just an engine which heads down a track. And for the many Christians who are both followers and enthusiasts… don't let your passion for Choo-Choos overwhelm your passion for Jesus!