Elder’s Thoughts – April 2013

Impossible is nothing

Simon CurranEaster is the season of celebration and a season of re-evaluation. A few years back the sports giant Adidas launched a series of adverts entitled “Impossible is nothing”. The sceptic in me is sceptical of such trite claims, especially when I suspect the bottom line is just trying to sell me another pair of trainers. However it’s a slogan worth thinking about.

When I was growing up there were some things that seemed destined to stick around for ever, Apartheid in South Africa, Communism in Eastern Europe, the Troubles in Northern Ireland. However with determined efforts and courage these impossible situations changed and in all three situations Christians played their part.

To be a Christian is to believe in the audacious, Gabriel informed a shell shocked Mary that “Nothing was impossible with God” and the story of the empty tomb simply confirms that Archangels know what they’re talking about!

The Easter message challenges us to reassess what God can do and the subsequent story of the growth of the Church shows what God can do through ordinary men and women. The Adidas campaign seems to have been inspired by some words from Muhammad Ali who once said, “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it.”

It’s not often you see words from someone called Muhammad commended in a Baptist Church but for what it’s worth I think he’s spot on. Before the BMS was founded William Carey suggested that world evangelisation was a priority but older ‘wiser’ voices sounded caution. Before the slave trade was abolished plenty of people thought the likes of Thomas Clarkson were wasting their time.

Now I’m not for one moment suggesting we don’t listen to the counsel of others or that we pursue any hair-brained scheme but I am suggesting that if we think that God is calling us to do something new then we should listen to him and not to all the other voices that say it could never happen or it could never happen here. It’s the season of Easter and at Easter we celebrate that with God, “impossible is nothing”.

Simon Curran