Monthly letter from the Clergy
July 2017 - This months letter is from our Rector, Rev Jenny Gray
Summer is peak wedding season in our village churches. Beautiful dresses, flowers, music, photos etc. celebrate a couple’s commitment to love. And nothing is more wonderful than hearing someone say ‘I love you’. Partner, parent, child, grandchild, friend, when someone loves us we feel special. We’re not alone. We face life’s difficulties more confidently. Children surrounded by love thrive but this is true of people at every age.
Human beings are hard-wired to love. We’re made in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:27) and God is Love (1 John 4:16). We’re each uniquely, utterly loved by God, whether we recognise Him or not. Christian faith is knowing and responding to God’s love, for us and for our world.
The wedding service reminds us, love isn’t just warm feelings. It’s the concrete, demanding desire for another’s good. Love listens. Love shares another’s joys and struggles. Love cares in practical ways. Love forgives. Love is patient and kind...the choice we make every day to work at relationships, even when we struggle to understand or like those we love. Love is weathering the storms not jumping ship.
Love is RISKY. Love may not be returned. Love may be betrayed. Love may grow cold or get lost in the difficulties along life’s way. God takes that risk. Jesus cares for friends, strangers and enemies, rich and poor, sick and sinners. He forgives those who nail him to a cross. How God loves us. How God invites us to love others... the most radical ALTERNATIVE to the hatred or fear many choose in response to terrorism, refugees, climate change etc.
What would families and communities be like if people weren’t too busy or focused on themselves to really CHERISH the people they know?... What would our country and world be like if we saw strangers as people with needs, hopes, fears and feelings LIKE US, not as an inconvenience or threat to our security, prosperity and peace?... If we chose to trust, hope, persevere in LOVE ?...
What if love (kindness/hospitality/generosity/forgiveness etc) doesn’t seem to work? The risky, loving answer is double the dose! May we risk living God’s love with generosity and joy, imagination and courage, for the sake of the world.
‘No act of kindness is ever wasted’ Aesop ‘Be kinder than necessary – everyone you meet
is facing some kind of battle’ - JM Barrie
‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ - Jesus’ 2nd commandment