The Rev. Bruce Waldron is a United Reformed Church minister of Australian descent who came to Sawston Free Church on 24th April 2009. Bruce is married to Sharn and they have two children and four grandchildren in Australia.
Bruce is passionate about the relevance of Jesus’ message for a world that is hurting so much from injustice and division, environmental irresponsibility and lack of comprehension of the way God calls us to be.
I have two seminars to attend this month.
The one at the beginning of the month is a gathering of URC ministers from all over the country, to search out together how we might tackle the URC’s Focus for the next few years, “Walking the Way: Living the life of Jesus today”.
The seminar at the end of the month is for myself and Sharn; it is a course designed to help ministers when they are retiring to think about all the issues involved in that process.
Despite having said very clearly for over a year now that I will be retiring on the16th November 2019, forty years to the day from when I was ordained, I still have people coming up to me, time and time again, and saying “I hear your leaving us soon!” I tell them “No, not soon. In a year and a half’s time”. Inevitably they reply “Oh I thought it was this year. Oh, you’re going next year!”
Isn’t it odd how people can pick up one part of a message correctly and yet the other part of the message incorrectly.
That’s why this “focus”, Walking the Way: Living the life of Jesus today” is so important. Like the disciples, we pick up some parts right and other parts wrong. We are constantly in need of redirection, re-instruction, re-orientation.
One thing is sure. Any aspect of our faith that causes us to despise or denigrate another follower of Christ, is not walking the way of Jesus. Any interpretation of faith that does harm to another is not walking the way of Jesus. Any aspect that assumes our superiority over another is not in the image of Him. Any interpretation of faith that divides us up into camps, whether it’s the fundamentalist or the liberal or the left wing or right wing is a tribalism that doesn’t belong in the gathering of disciples of Jesus. Any petty talk that puts another down, or fosters petty dislike and then validates it by getting others on side, is not of Christ. He doesn’t work like that.
Walking the way of Jesus means any friend of His is a friend of mine, and worthy of the greatest respect because Jesus has accepted him/her as His friend, and He is my compass, not my own personal proclivities. And if I believe that God is going to work through me, because I follow Him, then I had better assume that God is going to work through “them” based on precisely the same assumption. That means my fellow Christians, of whatever ilk or disposition, are worthy of the greatest respect, because Christ is alive in them.
Are you consciously trying, all the time, to walk the way of Christ, conscious that your calling is to live the life of Jesus today? I hope it’s a healthy preoccupation of yours, and mine.