It’s not only water shortages that the country is facing at the moment. As a nation we are apparently also low on Vitamin D, which is necessary for healthy bones. Our bodies make Vitamin D in response to sunshine, so perhaps it’s no surprise that we Brits are running low!
In his recent book, simply entitled ‘The Christian Faith’, writer Michael Horton has identified some spiritual “Vitamin Ds”. Four D’s that make up a balanced Christian diet:
“Drama” – are we familiar with the historical events upon which our faith rests, above all the life, death and resurrection of Jesus? One of the advantages of the Church year is that the celebrations of Christmas, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost give us an annual opportunity to remember and reflect on these pivotal events in human history. The Bible provides a reliable record of what happened and when. Do we read it enough?
“Doctrine” – do we understand the meaning and significance of who Jesus is and what he did? For instance, why was Good Friday ‘good’ and what hope does the resurrection give us today? Could we confidently explain our faith to a friend?
“Discipleship” – does our faith make any difference to our daily lives? Are we seeking to imitate Christ in our words and deeds, and encouraging others to do so? Do our friends or colleagues see the difference Jesus makes?
“Devotion” – are we cultivating a close personal relationship with God by prayer and praise? Have we invited the Holy Spirit to help us in our prayer life and worship?
Without Discipleship and Devotion, our faith can become dry and stale – purely ‘head knowledge’ that makes no difference to our daily lives. But without knowledge of the Christian Drama and Doctrine, our discipleship and devotion can lose their biblical foundations, their inspiration and motivation. Our heartfelt praise risks becoming simply singing, and our confident faith could descend into doubt.
So as well as getting some Vitamin D from the sun this Summer, let’s seek a balanced Christian diet too – containing drama, doctrine, discipleship and devotion. The perfect recipe for a healthy body and soul!