From the Minister
From the Minister
The latest government slogan in the fight against COVID “Hands, face, space” gave me pause for thought – three words to encourage careful and considerate behaviour in order to reduce the risk of infection. Simple, effective and easy to remember, the three words help us to keep in mind essential steps in protecting each other from the virus. Three words can convey a lot. That got me thinking about the three words that we might use as Christians to best describe the essence of a Christian life. There are probably lots of possibilities, but here are my thoughts…
LOVE – This really has to be the key word in Christian life. It describes God and all of his action towards us. “God is love and where love is, God himself is there” says the apostle John in his first letter. God’s love breathed creation, spoke through the prophets and became human in the person of Jesus, revealing to us a love that can even overcome death. Love is also a key word in our calling as Christians as we seek to follow Jesus by living as he did. Jesus tells his followers that the two greatest commandments are to love God and to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. We show our love for God through worship and through obedience and there are so many ways to show love to our neighbours, both far and near. Of course we also need to be ready to love ourselves and that can sometimes be the hardest task of all…
PRAISE – My second word is ‘praise’. We are called as Christians to worship and praise God in our thoughts, words and actions and it is an essential part of our Christian life. Sometimes it is easy to praise God – when we see the beauty of the world around us or when we mark a special event perhaps? At other times it can be very hard to praise – when we are tired or struggling and when things have gone wrong. It’s at times like these that I’m drawn to the psalms. Often the psalmist is in a dark place and many psalms are harshly honest about human struggles with anger, grief and fear. However the psalmist always seems to finish with an acknowledgement of God’s presence and power, even if it is just a few words. There is a recognition that God is ever present and that in itself can be praise. The hymn ‘great is thy faithfulness’ is a favourite of mine as a song of praise for when times are hard.
SHARE – Finally, our Christian calling involves sharing, both practically as love impels us to share what we have with others, but also spiritually as we share God’s Good News. Jesus’ final words to his disciples are “Go and make disciples of all nations” and so we are called to share what we have learned about our loving God and that love revealed in Jesus with those far and near. We often feel a bit daunted by the task, but I expect that we do this far more every day than we might think, simply by sharing stories of God’s love in our lives and our own experience. We could even challenge ourselves to notice how many times we mention the goodness of God to others each day.