Dear Church Family
'I've started, so I'll finish' is the tag-line made famous on Mastermind a number of years ago. It's a great and positive statement that has ramifications well beyond TV quiz shows, as it can be applied to a tricky task or difficult project, as well as to a frustrating job or committed relationship. To declare those words with meaning is a very powerful thing, showing desire and intent. It displays a never-give-up mentality that's admirable and good.
'I've started, so I'll finish' also displays the heart of God as he looks at you and me. He's started a great work but still has much to do, and he has no desire to stop. St Paul knew this, which is why he wrote in his letter to the Philippians:
'He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus' (Philippians 1:6).
This is great news for us all - for individuals, couples, families, small groups and congregations. We're all works in progress. That's why we're charitable to each other, giving the benefit of the doubt and recognising that no-one is perfect. But it's also a challenge for us to keep going, making sure we are growing in faith, maturing as disciples and becoming more Christ-like. That's why it's good to be accountable and spur each other on. I hope we're all doing this in our small groups and with those close to us. And may I urge us all, during this period of Lent, to use this time to take stock of our lives and welcome the transformative presence of Jesus to change us from the inside out.
God hasn't finished with any of us yet. He will. One day he will finish what he started. Such is his commitment to us. Such is his gracious love, in Jesus Christ.