by Revd Martijn Mugge
IOne of the things that puzzled me about early Christianity is its rapid spread across the Roman world. How do you explain it without God?
You see, I didn’t grow up as a Christian and throughout my twenties I believed that God was made up to provide answers to difficult questions and to be a crutch to those who are hurting. Of course, believing something is real doesn’t make it real, and in my mind, God simply wasn’t real, he was only imagined. So, what was it that changed my mind?
On the one hand it was the peace and joy I observed in newly found Christian friends. There was something about them that was hugely attractive, and it stirred me on to read the Bible.
On the other hand, there was the gradual realisation that the world we live in, with all its beauty, is far more likely to be created by God, then to be a random freak of nature. Most exciting of all, I discovered that we were created by God to be loved by Him and to know His love for eternity, which really changes everything.
Suddenly my life had meaning and purpose, as we were created by God to enjoy Him and to live for Him forever. And what joy to know that God loves me and cares about me, whatever others might think. Most importantly, however, God revealed Himself to me by His Holy Spirit; the same Holy Spirit who enabled the first group of ordinary Christians to tell people that Jesus had risen; who turned rebellious and doubting hearts to believe in Jesus and follow him; and who was responsible for the rapid growth of the early Church.
My prayer is that this same Holy Spirit might give you joy, peace and purpose as you reflect on God’s love and His desires for you.
The first coming down of the Holy Spirit happened at Pentecost, which we celebrate this year on 23rd of May.
I hope you can join us at 10.30am in Church, on Facebook @stpetersconi or on YouTube @St Peters Coni Livestream.