Sign-up for free e-newsletter

Viewpoint from Tony Mallion 11/05/2018

TONY MALLION 10-2017 stephen gTony Mallion
Cliff Park Community Church


as published in the Yarmouth Mercury

Over the years any of us may be called various things but this was a new one. A ‘religious body’! A group of us from church were out just before Easter distributing invitations to our special service to celebrate this most important of dates in the Christian calendar. We’d split into pairs. My companion and I came across a house which had one of those small stickers on the door suggesting the owner didn’t want any cold callers – and the list included ‘religious bodies’. We looked at each other and laughed out loud, wondering for a minute whether either of us could be described as having a ‘religious body’
dove leftOn a sunny morning we’d seen a funny side. It made us chuckle but it also gave us pause for thought. It was a challenge since, if asked, we would describe ourselves as Christians – followers of Jesus – not ‘religious’. In fact if pushed on the matter, we would probably say that ‘we didn’t have a religious bone in our bodies’
Of course we knew what that door sticker meant. The resident didn’t want to be bothered by unwelcome salespeople whatever their wares happened to be. And that included any wanting to ‘sell’ religions
That’s where it became ironic. Because we weren’t attempting to sell anything. Far from it, we wanted to give something away. We had packs of hot cross buns which we were offering people for no charge or donation but as a simple free gift to somehow reach out to our community and show something of God’s love – that ultimate free gift of Jesus dying on the cross for us all which we remember at Easter. With it also came an invitation to our service. No sales, no collection, no pressure
Dove rightThis often surprises people. Suspicion at the door can turn to smiles and grateful thanks. It is sometimes one of the toughest things for anyone to accept that God’s forgiveness for our wrongs is a totally free gift; that Jesus willingly died on the cross and rose again on Easter Sunday for us. We don’t have to earn it, just accept it
Long ago St Paul wrote to the new Christians in Ephesus: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast”. And that’s still true today          


The views carried here are those of the author, not necessarily of Network Yarmouth, and are intended to stimulate constructive and good-natured debate between website users

We welcome your thoughts and comments, posted below, upon the ideas expressed here

Click here to read our forum and comment posting guidelines