Responding to Christ

The challenge of Jesus is not ‘Believe in me’, but rather ‘Follow me’.

Becoming a Christian is not about giving our intellectual assent to a good idea, but rather committing the whole of our life into the hands of the God who makes Himself known in the person of Jesus Christ.  It is in this moment of self- surrender that we encounter the reality of Emmanuel, God with us.

I first said ‘yes’ to that call of Jesus to follow Him when I was ten...and since then my every moment has been spent trying to get to know Jesus more and to make Him known to others.

Archbishop John Sentamu

'Not that following Jesus has been easy.  I have seen friends killed for their faith.  I have been beaten up and put in prison for standing up for what is right.  I have suffered illness and hardship, but through it all I have known the overwhelming presence and power of God.  Jesus doesn’t promise us an easy time, but He does promise to be with us whatever we face.  And because Jesus is with us, we find that we can face anything, even the things that scare us most!

In surrendering all to Jesus we enter into a relationship that is all encompassing and genuinely transforming.  In surrendering all to Jesus we set out on a journey that is exhilarating, terrifying, surprising, mysterious, challenging and life-giving.  It is in surrendering all to Jesus that we become ourselves as God has created us to be'.

This is an extract from the Archbishop's Inauguration Address at York Minster (2005) 

To surrender everything to God feels like a risk.  It has always felt like that.  It means giving up our plans and ways of doing them and trusting them to God in the sure and certain knowledge that He knows us better than we know ourselves, and that He wants the very best for us.  It feels like a risk because God’s plans for us might not look like we expected them to.  But the only true risk is not responding at all.

Confirmation in the Church of England

Confirmation is where someone who was baptised as an infant makes a public declaration of their decision to follow Jesus. They confirm the promises that were made on their behalf at their baptism, and the Bishop prays for the Holy Spirit to fill them and enable them to live out the promises that they are making in the service. ‘Come Holy Spirit’ has been the prayer of the Church from the beginning, and at a service of Confirmation, we get to join in with that prayer and invite God to be at work in each one of us.

Find out more about affirming your faith at the Church of England website here