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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

5 February 2020: Linda Clist, St Mary Magdalen, Sheet

We All Need A Good Airing!

The first week of January, I got into my car for the first time in a month. I felt ready to drive again, after breaking my toe before Christmas. Actually, my foot felt okay. Trouble was, after being closed up, the car definitely wasn’t okay. Every seat was spotted white with mildew. It smelt pretty awful too. I’m asthmatic and it made me wheeze.

I called in a local valeting company. They did a great job, but of course I’ve had to keep the car thoroughly aired since.

All this was powerful proof of the value of fresh air. And it got me thinking. Surely we’re heading for trouble if we keep our minds closed up? Don’t we all need the fresh air of new attitudes? It’s so easy to dismiss a new, unexpected opinion, without taking the time to think it through.

People often associate the Christian church and its faith with what’s old (and mouldy?) just because it goes back a long way. But Christians take their cue from Jesus, who was all for new ideas and encouraged folk to keep their minds open. God is God of the past, but also of the present and future. (‘Ever old and ever new’, as the children’s hymn goes.)

It’s so easy for us to get set in our ways of thinking, however old or young we are. But opening ourselves to fresh ideas will get rid of our mental mildew! The Bible talks about Jesus ‘opening people’s minds’ and it also calls on us to ‘open our hearts wide’. How are we to begin to understand one another or to love that ‘neighbour’ who’s so different from us, if we close our hearts and minds? Don’t we all need a good airing?

Join us at the United Reformed church on Saturday 8 February for the Christian Aid Lunch - betwen noon and 2:00 pm

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