On November the 5th 2001 the very first weekly was broadcast entitled “Storms At Work”. Today I am writing the 557th edition in its 14th birthday week and it is the 62nd of the largest ever series, entitled “Son Of Man”.
This weekly is never about my work, it is about yours, but this 14th Birthday Edition is going to be more personal.
Why do I do it? Why do I write week in week out for fourteen years even when I feel unwell or exhausted? Sure I take some breaks, but this weekly has been a constant free service to many thousands over the years.
At the heart of my writing is the love for the Son of Man, Jesus of Nazareth. Everything about him fascinates me, absorbs me, and inspires me. There has been no other on this planet like him.
It does not matter which way you observe him, he comes out as an amazing, balanced, tender, strong, extreme, moderate, caring and challenging person.
When I look at the detail of his life I find this intricate, delicate, complicated character whose care for me is customized and compassionate.
There are no adequate words to contain his royalty and no pen to capture his humanity. In fourteen years I’ve only begun to encounter the mystery and wonder of his style.
Yet there is a pathos connected to my awe of Jesus. It is precisely because he is so available and accessible, as well as impossible to grasp, that I long to write about him with one word ringing in my ears. That word is “relevance”.
Day by day, each day of your life, you work. It does not matter whether you are paid, employed or unpaid, unemployed you cannot get through a day without using some energy to achieve some purpose. They say that money makes the world go round or, all you need is love, and I agree, but nothing happens without work – nothing.
So my heart, all my adult life as a minister of his, is to, by any or all means, show how this God-Man that I worship is relevant to every day of your week.
My pathos comes as I see, or encounter, activities, words or attitudes which nurture the idea of irrelevance. It may not be malicious but there’s a tendency in our hearts to relegate him to the periphery. If you can squeeze him into one day a week or one week a year, if you can contain him in a programme or a building then you can avoid him the rest of the time.
But this cannot be done. What good is it if I gain the whole world and lose my soul?
And the only who can save my soul is him.
So I look at his life in amazement, turning to his death on a cross and see the climax of his work. It is on the cross that he performed six hours of pivotal work that revolutionized everything. And still, sometimes, it is possible to hang the cross around your neck, put it on top of a church or paint it on a canvas.
But this cross is not just for jewelry or buildings. This cross is what rescues me. This cross is what empowers and energizes me, for these six hours showed me how the Son of Man not only laid down his life in ultimate love but provided a model of how all work should be done, every day.
So I ask him what way I should write and he says, “I am the way”. I ask him what way I should work and he says, “I am the way”. I ask him in what way should I be a father and he says, “I am the way”.
Even now I can feel my heart beat a little faster as I look again at the One who is the reason I write and I long to create some written words to point you to the living word.
So please celebrate with me this 14th Birthday of words, and would you celebrate the person about whom they are written? For if you fall in love with him daily, taking up a cross daily, being determined to explore his relevance to the specific issues of your life then those 14 years will serve you and together we can continue to serve him.
For this is the meaning of life.
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
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