"We Need To Talk About Kevin"
Perhaps some of us think we should! However, it is the title of a 2003 book by Lionel Shriver, a disturbing novel recently made into a just as disturbing film, in which a mother writes to her estranged husband of the need to talk about their deranged son, Kevin. Not to spoil the plot, but a major theme of the book may be: Don't put off talking about your concerns, for it soon becomes too late!
I believe the world is in the same desperate need as that young man in the book; a world being deranged by Sin, every precious life a victim of Sin. So we need to talk about Kevin (not me), but the letters of my name:
We need K for knowing there is a God who loves us so much, God who has given us Jesus to take upon himself the horrors of Sin. It is a wonderful thing to know that we are saved from Sin, no longer condemned by the Sin that controls our lives. It is even more wonderful that we can know Jesus as our friend in our lives, who has not only forgiven us, but is with us always, that we can know his help in overcoming the temptations of Sin. Do we know Jesus in our lives? For when we do, we are challenged by the Gospel, that if this is so amazing for us, then we would want everyone to know Jesus!
We need E for evangelism for how will people know if they have never heard, and who can tell them, but us who know Jesus. Evangelism simply means telling the good news and the good news is that Jesus saves.
We need V for vision to see the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is where God reigns in a realm of Love, where everyone knows Jesus, as their Saviour and Lord of their life, and so lives in perfect peace with sisters and brothers. The only place where we would see this perfectly clearly is Heaven itself. But that vision of the Kingdom is our inspiration, our encouragement and Hope.
We need the I for incarnate. It is great that we can have a vision of Heaven, but it is more than wishful thinking. But we can't wait for us getting to heaven, or Jesus coming again, we shouldn't have to wait and we don't need to! incarnate means ‘in the flesh'. God showed how much love God has for us by becoming human and living our life as Jesus. Now God gives us the Holy Spirit to dwell in our flesh, enabling us to live God's life, making the Kingdom of God visible and real by God's love working through us. It is here and now, because the risen Jesus is here and now!
And there is still the N, which is needed for the narrative. When we commit ourselves to following Jesus, we are joining an incredible story; that of God's love for the world, a narrative that begins in Scripture, with the story of Creation, and into the history of the Israelites, until the climax of the coming of Jesus. And the story unfolds through 2000 years of the Church, and 40 years of the United Reformed Church and on through our lives. But will the story end here? A world desperately in need of God's love and no-one to tell? We don't need to talk about Kevin, a lost son, but we do need to talk about Jesus, God's son. We know Jesus and the world needs Jesus now.
And what has this to do with the Yorkshire Synod? Everything! All we do together as Christians must surely be focussed on this truth, and so how we can live as Jesus Lord and Saviour of Yorkshire!
In Christ's love,
Moderator of the