Summary: A short homily for some elderly Christians living in sheltered accomodation. I don’t think I took on board the right amount of spiritual food over the Christmas and New Year period. God is challenging me (and perhaps you!) to be spiritually fit.

A lot can happen in a year! A lot can and will happen during this next year.

As I look back over the last year I realise that so much has happened and so much has changed:

†My two boys have started new schools.

†My daughter has begun pre-school.

†My sister got married.

†My Granddad died.

†My friend Lyndon died aged 42.

†A year ago I was in the blistering heat of Nairobi.

†This time next year I will have moved house.

For all of you 2005 will have seen changes. 2006 will also be a year of change. My prayer is that whatever this year brings, you will all (Col 3:15), “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.”

As St Paul wrote this he knew that for some people that would mean having to forgive the grievances they had against others (Col 3:13). If we are unable to forgive then the peace of Christ will not rule in our hearts. The peace of the Lord Jesus Christ goes hand in hand with our forgiving others, and our receiving his forgiveness for us. That’s why he taught us to pray:

“Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.” (Luke 11:4)

I know that over the Christmas and New Year period I may have eaten a lot of physical food, but I was challenged and reminded by the Bishop’s sermon on 8 January that I have not eaten sufficient spiritual food recently. So this message is for me, and I hope it will challenge you too:

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly “(Col 3:16).

If I am to stay in good condition physically then I need to eat the right food, and I need to take the right exercise. What we know about the physical world can often help us to understand the spiritual world.

If I am to be in good condition spiritually then I need to take on board spiritual food. The Bible is the primary way of doing that and I need more of it right now. Also, I need spiritual exercise and just like physical exercise it is a discipline. A regular time of the day or various points in the week are a great idea. Prayer and praise, and opportunities to share my faith with others, albeit quietly over a coffee or a meal, are ways in which I can exercise spiritually.

We may not all be as fit physically as we once were. However, in Christ we can be spiritually fit in 2006. Shall we do that?

Let’s pray.

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