Describing The Christian Life­—St. John The Evangelist, Topsail

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Louise SmithOne recent Sunday morning, as Father Greg welcomed the flock to the 10:30 service, and before the sermon commenced, he addressed the congregation, and asked us how we would, in one word, describe the Christian Life.

The responses were varied, yet similar and somewhat relevant; but the text that morning and the message it portrayed were all focussed on the adaptation of the word “exciting.”

Normally, the word “exciting” garners connotations of huge physical emotion. Now for Christians to equate excitement with quiet piety did not happen overnight. I still have vivid memories as a young girl of being chastised for walking up the aisle hatless.

Father Greg related to us a moving story relative to the practice of changing attitudes in labelling religious beliefs.

He referenced the life of a young girl who lived in a land where she had never experienced the Christian faith. She harboured illusions of an angry God, which made her very fearful. 

Eventually, fate intervened and she managed to flee that country. After settling into a new environment, she found a Christian church. The congregation was happy and excited. They were singing and dancing to God. She started to read her Bible, and soon discovered that we live by grace and that our relationship with God is secured.

Here at St. John the Evangelist, life in the church has always been an embodiment of the trilogy—prayer, work, and play—as we endeavour to maintain an atmosphere that is relaxed and joyful

Until the pandemic hit us in March 2020, living the Christian life wasn’t just going to church on Sunday morning, albeit, that is a very important first step. 

Activities with the ACW, altar guild, and vestry while planning fundraisers to help in the maintenance of the church and other commitments, were never considered a chore. They were all achieved with excitement and satisfaction, and always laced with humour.

Every red letter day on the church calendar was celebrated in fellowship, not only with the congregation, but often with invited guests from neighbouring parishes. 

While in the middle of writing this article, the April edition of Anglican Life arrived. As I briefly scanned it, an article by the Rev’d James Spencer caught my eye, titled “Did Jesus ever Laugh,” with the reminder that Jesus was fully divine and fully human—our passport to an exciting Christian Life. 

If church life is to be lived at its richest,
humour cannot be confined to what is called
the secular
but must permeate the sacred.
Rev. Canon George Earle 

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