“What Old Truth Have I Begun to Sit Lightly To”?”
By the Revd Dr Peter Sanlon
As we journey to the heavenly city we need to keep remembering and keep believing. It is easy to assume that understanding the Gospel is a once for all action – but in Biblical thinking we continually enter more deeply into and re-remember the Gospel. This is why we celebrate the Lord’s Supper regularly – a simple reminder but one we need often.
Jude wrote, ‘I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it…’ (Jude 5). The life of a Christian pilgrim is one of ever deepening and ongoing re-appreciation of Gospel truths that we have heard before.
In the local church we see again and again that people who gather around the Word either grow or decline in their spiritual passion. There is no neutral resting point in our pilgrimage – we either more deeply appreciate that which we see of God’s promises – or we begin to denigrate and despise them. We either take a few more steps forward on the path; or we veer off into by ways and dead ends.
There is too often in church circles hyper-enthusiasm for the new. A new leader, a new vision, a new programme, a new technique. What we really need is not lots more that is new, glittering and shiny, but rather a greater passion for that which we once heard and now might need reminding of.
As a preacher explores the vast range of texts in the Bible, and the variety of genres of book therein – there is always a fresh perspective and fresh slight of the same old Gospel truths. Rather than asking the minister to come up with some new programme, perhaps we should ask ourselves, ‘What old truth have I begun to sit lightly to? What do I need reminding of?’
Pilgrims who make it to the end are those who have sought reminders and taken on board reminders of the unchanging gospel message.
‘See, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein.’ Jer. 6:16
The Revd Dr Peter Sanlon is the minister at Emmanuel Anglican Church, Tunbridge Wells: www.emmanuelanglican.uk