‘Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!’ Could this be the latest government guidance as we start to emerge from lockdown and adjust to the ‘new normal’ of living with social distance? Actually, they are the words of St Paul, writing two thousand years ago, and criticising religious systems that restricted people’s lives. He himself had grown up in such a system and been zealous for it. But then he discovered a ‘new normal’ that meant he didn’t need to adhere to endless rules and regulations. In Jesus he discovered a life-changing and life-giving relationship with God. Not a life-limiting straitjacket but, as Jesus promised, ‘life in all its fulness’.Over the years I’ve had endless conversations with people who tell me that they are not ‘religious’. In their mind, as a Christian, that must be what I am, and I know they are thinking that that is not a ‘good thing’. So, usually to their surprise I say, ‘Oh good, neither am I’. Yes, my faith in Christ leads to me to make all sorts of choices and adopt many disciplines. But each one is inspired by a loving relationship with God, and not a draconian set of rules.
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