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1. THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS
There is a restlessness in every human heart. We’re searching for something. We’re made for something more. It doesn’t mean I need to pack up my bags and walk out the door: probably not a good idea. But at least I can give myself permission to listen to the deepest longings of my heart and ask the question: What am I really searching for?
2. THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
There are good reasons to believe in the existence of God. There are good reasons, at least, for an atheist to have doubt their atheism! If you don’t believe, the very fact of taking these questions seriously is an important step.
3. A GOD WHO SPEAKS
God has spoken to us in history, using signs and symbols and people and events. He has not left us alone. He has broken the silence. He has come to our help. The promises he made to the Jewish people are made to us too. And Christians believe that they have been fulfilled with the coming of the Saviour, Jesus Christ.
4. WHO IS JESUS?
Christians believe that Jesus gave his life for us by dying on the cross, and then rose from the dead on the third day, in the glory of the resurrection. His death brings us peace with God, and the hope of eternal life. It brings healing. And it brings forgiveness for what the bible calls sin, which is all the wrong we have done and all the harm we have caused.
5. THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE CHURCH
The Holy Spirit is the love of God, sent to us from the Father, by his Son Jesus. This is why Christians speak about the Holy Trinity, because the one eternal God is a communion of three Divine Persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
6. THE BIBLE
The bible tells the story of God’s plan for humankind, as it unfolds from the creation of the world to the end of time.
It speaks about God’s love for all people; the coming of the Saviour, Jesus Christ; his death and resurrection; the gift of the Holy Spirit; and the beginnings of the Christian Church. It finishes with an extraordinary vision of heaven.
7. THE GIFT OF FAITH
There are moments when faith requires a choice, when we need to make a commitment, despite our uncertainties. It’s the same in many areas of life. We are all invited to take a step of faith. To believe in a loving God; to believe in his Son Jesus; and to believe in the gift of his Holy Spirit to us.
8. THE POWER OF PRAYER
A traditional definition of prayer goes like this: Prayer is “raising up the mind and the heart to God”. We need to stretch out to God, to look up and to look beyond. This is part of prayer. But you could also say that prayer is “opening the mind and the heart to God”, because he is not just “up there”, he is present with us here, whether we are praying or not.
9. FINDING TRUE FREEDOM
Christians believe in freedom. They also believe in an objective morality. Not everything is relative. There are some fundamental human values that all people have in common. Why? Because we all share a common humanity, and some things help us to live a good life, they lead us to a genuine fulfilment, and other things can damage that.
10. THE MEANING OF LOVE
Jesus said to his followers: “You must love your neighbour as yourself”. Then he went further and said, “Love one another, as I have loved you”. And he went even further and said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you”.