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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

15 January 2019: Rev'd Stephen Wright, Petersfield Methodist Church

A time to splurge, a time not to splurge

After all the Christmas festivities, the New year brings a more sober theme. It’s time for dry January, diets, dealing with the debt and all kinds of resolutions.

Across the land, gym membership soars. Of course, whether any of the numerous things we commit to in January are still in place by the end of February is an interesting question. But it does, I think, represent something important about human living.

There is a time for excess and extravagance, but there is also a time for self-restraint and self-discipline. Indeed, one might argue that getting these strands in some kind of sensible harmony is the secret to living well. I suppose Christians have tended to major on self-control, we have not always been so good at celebrating. It was the famous Puritan, Oliver Cromwell, for example, who banned Christmas.

On the other hand, the disciplines so many embrace at this time of the year turn out to be extremely relevant. Many of us struggle to control our spending, the amount of food we eat, our consumption of alcohol, even the words we say or write on social media. The old Christian virtues of restraint and self-discipline can be taken to excess, but without them you often end up with a mess, not to mention a lot of pain and heartache.

So, bravo to all those of you who have just started some new regime this January. May it be, not just for January, but for life.

The PACT AGM takes place in St Laurence Catholic church tonight (15 January) starting at 7:30

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