I have a number of songs I’ve heard down the years which have had an impact on me. Tom Paxton, who sings, ‘I can’t help but wonder ..............’ pictures life as a journey but the problem is that we don’t know where we are going and others, willing though they may be to help us, don’t know either. You end up with a pleasant tune and actually deeply pessimistic words – when you are young you assume it will all become clear eventually but when you are older it still hasn’t and of course the end of the journey is closer.
In the Old Testament period the Israelites are privileged because they have God’s law – God has spoken to them – so they and we, as we are God’s people, are informed about where we are bound and what is to happen on the journey. In the New Covenant period we have the gospel and guidance both for our lives as individuals as well as our life together as God’s church. In many ways it differs from the Old Covenant because God’s people have now become international and the rules he gives us are to apply in any number of widely differing societies and places. However it is certainly not true that God saves us, brings us together and leaves us to work out the journey ahead for ourselves.
When Margaret and I come back to Honiton from our holidays in late February and (God willing) I recommence my preaching on Sunday mornings I am planning to start preaching a series of sermons on 1 Timothy. Why do I think it important we should be doing this? There are several reasons:
1. We will see how the gospel permeates every part of Christian living – both for us as individuals and us as we assemble together.
2. We will learn the priorities God has for his church (us).
3. We will learn how God wants the church (us) to be ordered and organised.
God willing this will build us up as God wants us to be built up for the glory of his Son the head of the church.