Dale Appleby

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Weekly Reflections

If I could say one thing... 8 Feb 15

If I could say one thing...

It would be a miracle. Preachers can rarely say just one thing. And the older they get the more they have to say and the more they repeat themselves and say the same things over again in different ways, so that you feel as though you have heard the same thing again and again – like a cracked record (do you remember cracked records?).

The one thing to say, about Christian ministry at least, is that it is all about Christ. Paul said, “For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” (2 Cor 4.5). It is easy, in the church, to highlight many things because there are many important aspects of the Christian life which we share in the church. But all of the important ones depend on Christ. The church itself is Christ – not the organisation or the services, but the body of people who belong to Christ and who meet in his name.

 

Our identities are complex, but in Christ all our claims to fame fade into greyness in the light of the glory he shares with us. My first identity is that I belong to Christ. It is Christ upon who I depend, and Christ who I want to be like. It is Christ who brings me to his Father and Christ who sets me in the right with his Father. It is Christ who has died and been raised and who will one day raise me with him into the presence of his Father's glory.

So it is no wonder that we Christ-followers know Christ as the centre, and foundation of our lives. And no wonder that he is the one we preach, and talk about and want others to know.

As for preachers, pray that they will preach Christ. Christ crucified, Christ as Lord.

As for all of us, we could copy Paul's desire, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” (Phil 3.10)

For me, to live … is Christ. That was Paul's motto, and can be ours.

Dale

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