Thought for the Month (March 2019)

Q: What is the chief end of man?
A: Man's chief end is to glorify God (1) and to enjoy him forever (2)

I wonder how many of us remember prizes - either at school or Sunday school - for learning scripture verses? Or being prepared either for baptism or confirmation by learning basic tenets of the church (whatever denomination)?

There may even be some reading this who will instantly recognise that the opening quote comes from the Shorter Westminster Catechism, part of the Westminster Confession of 1646 designed to try and unify the faith of the then Church of England (as it moved towards Presbyterianism after the Civil War). It became part of the bedrock of the Presbyterian Church world-wide and its influence remains evident within the URC even today.

It is humbling in this season of Lent to be reminded that we are made in the image of God and our purpose is to glorify God. We might even be humbled that our relationship with God is not one of the strict paternal figure telling us what to do, but a relationship that is fun and loving and to be enjoyed.

This Lent let us all try and set aside time to just be with God.
This Lent let us all try and set aside time to listen to God.
This Lent let us all try and set aside time to remember to truly glorify God (1) and to enjoy him forever (2). None of us are too old to learn that!

These are the scriptures that underpin the quote as included in the original confession.
(1)(a) 1 Corinthians 10:31. So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.
(b) Romans 11:36. For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.
(c) Psalm 73:24-26. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me with honour. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

(2) John 17:22-24. [Jesus said] The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

Rev. Helen Warmington

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Tunbridge Wells United Reformed Church