Holy Cross and St Mary

Vicar’s February 2021 Message

Dear friends,

Growing up in London, one of my favourite family times was on a Saturday night gathered around our black and white TV, rented from Rediffusion, watching Michael Miles “Take You Pick.” At the climax of the show, contestants would be invited to “open the box or take the money!” The excitement grew as Michael tempted them with more cash in hand if they chose not to open the box. In the box there could be a prize worth thousands of pounds, or a booby prize worth next to nothing.

The programme intrigued me because week after week contestants would make their choices, sometimes turning down hundreds of pounds, cash in hand and opting to open the box, when often they walked away with nothing.

We make choices every day of our lives, and these choices always lead somewhere – sometimes we get what we expected, but sometimes our choices land us in a pickle! It’s the nature of life and we all have to take responsibility for the choices we make.

I have a lovely picture hanging on the wall in our living room, of seven African women, dressed in very decorative, ornate clothing, carrying baskets of different shapes and sizes on their heads. I often sit and try to guess what it is that they are carrying. Of course, I’ll never know, but it doesn’t stop me wondering.

All of us seem to have a built-in mechanism that causes us to be curious, to want to discover more. What’s in the box!

I first came to faith when my curiosity got the better of me! My parents were Christians and regular church goers and I tagged along. But in my teens I had to find out if all that Christian stuff was really true. I read a book called, “Evidence That Demands A Verdict” by Josh McDowell and asked other people how they came to faith – notably someone who became a lifelong friend called Vic Jacobson who found Christ after reading one of the Gospels whilst doing time in Wandsworth Prison. Faith in Christ became personal for me.

We all have choices to make but some are more important than others. And life is too short to mess about with trivialities! Jesus made it clear that there are only two choices to make in life, the broad way or the narrow way. Most people choose the broad way, the easier option. The narrow road is more demanding, but it leads to life. (Matthew 7 verse 13 and 14)

165 million people have done the Alpha Course to explore the meaning of life. We are running a course online and anyone can join in. Curious? Drop me an email for details.

If we are brave enough to open the box, we discover treasure inside!


Rev Steve