Latest Rector’s Letter

,Pig is to Piglet….

Here is this month’s brainteaser: Pig is to piglet, as Christ is to what? The answer is ‘Christian’.
We are so familiar with the word ‘Christian’ that we may not have given much thought to its origin. In the Bible, the followers of Jesus referred to themselves in a number of ways. They called themselves the brethren, saints, believers or disciples but they didn’t call themselves Christians – not until much later. In fact the word ‘Christian’ only appears three times in the whole of the Bible – moreover, on each occasion the word’s context suggests that it was other people using the term, rather than the followers of Jesus themselves.
‘It was in Antioch that the disciples were first called ”Christians”.’ (Acts 11:26)
The implication of this short verse is that calling people ‘Christians’ began as a bit of mischief. Jews and Gentiles looked at the followers of Jesus and created a new word, utilising a diminutive form of the proper
noun ‘Christ’. In other words, the followers of Christ began to be called ‘the little Christs’ by the unbelievers of the city of Antioch. It was not a term of endearment – rather it was a bunch of outsiders taunting the disciples with a bit of name-calling. However, that silly bit of word play has ended up sticking. And I confess, in coming to terms with its origins, I have begun to rather like it!
To be a Christian is not about coming to church, being baptized, believing a particular creed or adhering to certain articles of faith. To be a Christian is to be a ‘little Christ’ to those amongst whom we live.
That is a very high calling indeed! For me to call myself a Christian, I will need to live like a ‘little Christ’ – I need to look like Jesus, act like Jesus and sound like Jesus:
‘Neither do I condemn you . . .’
‘Father forgive . . .’
‘You are not far from God’s kingdom . . .’
‘Do not be anxious or afraid . . .’
And you know what? Being a ‘little Christ’ might just be the most demanding challenge of my life!

Jeff Cuttell.
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