Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
A couple of years ago my wife and I decided to completely overhaul our garden in time for her 50th birthday. Over the next twelve months, little by little, one job at a time, the work of renovation and renewal went on steadily and surely. Now – a year later – we can sit back and enjoy the result of all that hard work. Yet there is still work to be done, pruning, tidying and keeping up with the weeds! It’s an ongoing process.
As the garden was being transformed, the difference made to each area reminded me of the way God works in our lives, and the fact that we are all constantly being ‘made new’ in Christ. Just as the whole garden enjoyed a complete makeover, so God is working to change our lives in every part. In the words of 2 Corinthians we are ‘being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory’. This same idea is picked up by Charles Wesley when he writes that we are ‘changed from glory into glory’ in the hymn ‘Love Divine’, and by Graham Kendrick in ‘Shine Jesus Shine’ where he writes that we are ‘ever changing from glory to glory, mirrored here may our lives tell your story’.
Our lives do indeed tell the story of what God is doing here in Faversham. As we celebrate 150 years of Faversham Baptist Church I have been re-reading our history, and I am always thrilled to hear stories from some of our older members about the life of the fellowship in the past. God has been good to his people! And now, as ever, God is continuing his work of transformation – not only in our individual lives, but also in the life of his church.
This transformation is essential if we are to be part of Jesus’ revolution of love, and to impact our community with the good news of Jesus. Unless we are prepared to pay the price of following Jesus, then we become more and more irrelevant to the world around us:
Transformation costs. The kingdom of God never advances without sacrifice. Paying that cost and making that sacrifice at times seems to no longer be the ‘bread and butter’ of the Christian faith. This leaves us struggling to transform our society. It leaves us struggling to communicate our message of hope. And I’m afraid it leaves us in the uncomfortable situation of church attendances dropping. Freddie Pimm: Where is our transformative influence?
As we look forward to the future may it be always true of us that we are being changed from glory to glory, conforming more and more to the likeness of Jesus. As we allow God to move us, mould us and change us, let us renew our efforts to serve him together and pray for his Kingdom transformation in our lives and in the community around us.