One of the highlights of 2020 in our household was Joe Wick's PE workouts (or at least it was with the parents in the house who regularly feel that we need to be doing more exercise than we do!). If that’s not a name familiar to you, during the first lockdown he became known for his online PE lessons for kids.
He has again made an appearance in our house, as we enter a New Year (and another lockdown!). More exercise is of course one of those resolutions that is made in January. However I recently heard it said that making goals for your year is better than resolutions. Goals are more tangible. You’ve got something to aim for and when you reach them, you can recognise what you’ve achieved and celebrate.
Perhaps you’ve got goals for the year or for the lockdown we’re currently in or maybe even just goals to get you through this week! I’m taking a wild guess that some of them might include exercise and fitness.
The Apostle Paul wrote letters to his younger protege, Timothy, two of which we find in the New Testament. In one of them he writes:
‘...physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance.’
1 Timothy 4:8
I’m encouraged that there is some value in keeping our bodies healthy (I’ll keep going with the PE with Joe workouts even if it is just Jodie and I!), but there is something that is even more valuable.
How do we grow in godliness? One way is to get to know Jesus more. As we read the Bible we encounter Jesus. It helps us to realise all he has done for us and how we can live for him. Perhaps your goal this year is to read a particular amount of the Bible? There are some great things that can help you in this, such as the Bible in One Year from Holy Trinity Brompton, The Bible Project or a number of others.
I want to recommend this excellent resource to you, called Word Online, from our friend Martin Charlesworth, who amongst other things, oversees much of the Biblical training stuff in our ChristCentral family of churches. Word Online is a set of 184 videos looking at the life of Jesus. They really do help you to understand the things Jesus said and did. Plus, what I really like is that they’re accessible for the newest of Christian and you don’t have to have loads of existing Bible knowledge.
Let me give you an example of how they have already helped me this year. Just this week I was reading about how Jesus told a story of a farmer who planted some seed. This is a story I’ve read numerous times and I often just assume that I know what Jesus is talking about. Yet on this occasion I was feeling like I just wanted to understand it a bit better than I do. So I opened up the Word Online app, searched for ‘sower’ and was able to hear Martin explain some of the context and detail of this story that Jesus tells. It was so helpful and made me think of things I had not considered before; things about Jesus and things about my task as one of his followers.
Here’s a short video introduction to Word Online.
So can I encourage you to check it out, either on your phone, at it’s website or as a podcast. Hey, you could even listen to it whilst doing one of your New Year exercise activities, combining something of ‘some value’ with something that has ‘value for all things’! It’s either that or combine it with finishing off all the leftover sweet things from Christmas. Whatever it is, I hope you reach that goal!
As we come out of our Covid restrictions and look into the next season for us as Jubilee, I wanted to take this time to share some news with you regarding our next steps as a church.
This month, we're privileged to have Michael Akotia write a blog for us. Michael along with his wife Mabel and three children (John, Keziah and Grace) are dear friends to us. Michael leads City of Grace Church in Ho, Ghana and serves on the Christ Central Churches International Team.
Have you ever thought that there might actually be a number of similarities between our Christian walk and baking a cake? Gavin explores some of these similarities in this month's Elders letter!
So Sunday saw the finale of series 6 of the BBC drama Line of Duty. If you haven't been watching it or have watched the latest series then you can read on. If you still plan to watch the final installment of series 6, you may want to stop here (although it's not a huge spoiler)!