Hi I’m Derek Lamont and I’m the minister of St Columba’s Free Church. I’m standing on the roof of the church at the moment; it’s the only place you can get a bit of peace and quiet during the festival in Edinburgh. I want to tell you a little bit about the most important person in our church and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. Now a lot of people ask the question, ‘Well, Why Jesus?’ I want to share a little bit about why he is so important to us, why he’s the object of our worship, why we give our lives to him and why he is the centre of all that we do.
But before doing that can I just go through one or two misconceptions that I think some people have about Christians. I don’t think we’re freaks. Some people think christians are freaks, religious nutters, people who are in some kind of cult or who engage in daft ritualism. We are very ordinary people and we simply live our lives with Christ as the focus. We come together for worship, but I think we’re quite ordinary.
We’re also not brain dead, we haven’t dumped our brains in the bucket. We’ve used a lot of our time, our reason, our intelligence, our study, to work through the claims of Jesus and we recognise that they stand up to rigorous examination and some of us are quite bright. But also we’re certainly not people that think we’re better than anyone else. I really hate that whole concept of being holier than thou. We are the same as everyone else. In fact, very often we think and have admitted that in our hearts and in our lives we are much worse than other people. We need redemption, we need rescue and we see everyone in the human race in the same position. We are absolutely not moralistic or looking down at other people but we follow the claims of Jesus Christ and are rescued by him.
But what we have done is looked at the world around us. We’ve seen the kind of world that it is; the societies, the communities, the beauty of the world - the created world that we see around us -we’ve seen justice and injustice, people searching for meaning, we’ve seen good and evil and all of it points to something more than just the physical. But we’ve also looked into our own hearts and we’ve seen our own needs and our own desires and our own longings; longings, questions; asking about the meaning of life, wondering about where we’ve come from, where we’re going, justice, morality, reason, consciousness, good and evil, community, joy, purpose, all of these things we’ve seen and they point us again towards a God in whose image we’re made and yet there’s something not quite right.
Which leads us onto having looked at Jesus Christ as well and we’ve done that primarily through the Bible which it claims, and we believe to be God’s word and which has spoken to us and revealed to us Jesus Christ. And we’ve seen that Jesus, as God’s son, has come to the earth and he has become a human being because he came to do something very important. He makes that claim himself. He claims that he is both God’s son and that he has come to rescue us, to redeem us, to free us from our sins. His own life was sinless, his own life was free from error. He was innocent before God and he was innocent even in the courts of the world but yet he was found guilty and was crucified on the cross and on the third day he rose again. That wasn’t a mistake, it wasn’t an error, it wasn’t something that just happened by chance. It was always God’s purpose, always Christ’s purpose to come to die in our place and to defeat the power of death by being resurrected so that when we put our trust in him, we can know ourselves eternal life, we can know forgiveness because he has paid the price for our sins and we can know joy and meaning and purpose through him.
This has just been a very quick overview of why Jesus Christ is important to us and if you want to know more then it would be good to get a bible - you’ll get a bible in any good bookshop and read the book of Mark or the book of John which tells you about the life of Jesus and his claims - it’s his biography really. Or look at the resources which will come up on screen which will point you again to the Christian faith, the Christian message. Or if you’re in Edinburgh or you live in Edinburgh, we’d love you to come along to church. We’d love you to join with us. We’ll not ask you to do anything crazy or weird but just come among us. We’re a family of believers, we’re a community that worship together. You’ll get to know us and you’ll hear about the different lives of Christians and you’ll hear teaching and preaching from the bible on a week-to-week basis and we’d really love to have you join with us. Thank you.