The Parish of Burchetts Green

Today we live in a world driven by technology. It's becoming increasingly a way of life that is remote from human interaction. We are, though, created to be inter-dependent and isolation has a detrimental effect on our well-being. There are many positives as well as the obvious negatives but striking a balance will be the ongoing challenge.

I was reading up on 'artificial intelligence', or AI, a branch of computer science that analyses and builds information from endless supplies of data to mimic human intelligence. It's an amazingly exact science, quite scary, but has the potential to be applied in various aspects of everyday life.

 Robotics will become big business with, again, less human interaction necessary - all in the cause of scientific progress.

The values that Christianity is founded on are, though, the blueprint for rich and purposeful living. Becoming more Christ-like, and choosing to be compassionate and courageous, will enable the lifestyle that leads to blessings. No amount of AI or robotics can substitute the gift of true happiness or 'life in abundance' that flows from discovering the presence of God at work in the world.

As we move towards the time of remembrance, we look back to a different age with its own particular problems and dangers, but also look for ward to a time of challenge in the modern age with God, as seen in and through Jesus, to guide and strengthen our lifestyle.

Every blessing

by Rev Dilys

Last month in his Parish News article Vicar Keith gave the outline of Bishop Steven's call to us all to be more 'Christ-like' under three headings. The call to be contemplative, compassionate and courageous is taken from the eight verses of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10).

The Bishop will be using this theme from the Beatitudes in much the same way as the previous Bishop - John Pritchard used his chosen model of 'Living Faith' as a Diocesan initiative.

If we look at the three headings, we will see quite clearly that Christianity is essentially a 'lifestyle' religion. It's as much about what and who we are as about what we say or believe.

The Bible is full of stories about how God has impacted and shaped the lives of those who have listened to God. Today, we can apply the teaching of those stories to our own lives. Jesus speaks through the scriptures to our contemporary world and the Beatitudes contain values for living and promises of blessing.

We live in an unprecedented time of huge change. Ours is a culture where people are more interested in resources for living than in doctrines or creeds. Lifestyle and well-being are major pre-occupations, especially with the younger generations. They want to know 'what works' and so our challenge, as Christians, is to demonstrate by our lifestyle that a knowledge of God makes sense of the whole of life.

What makes for true happiness and satisfaction are not what we so easily, but mistakenly, turn to, but the values that Jesus teaches in the Beatitudes and simplified into the three headings by Bishop Steven.