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PASTORAL LETTER

 

From the Minister’s desk:

Dear Friends,

JESUS’S COMMAND TO LOVE

There are some elephants in the room that you cannot ignore no matter how much you want to, or would like to. In Gospels one such elephant is Jesus’ impending death on a cross and resurrection, and as much as the disciples try to ignore it and hope it will not happen, it draws ever closer, and the date that God’s will and means of salvation for all people is to be fulfilled.

For our country there is an elephant that cannot be ignored as much as we might like to, and that is Brexit, and the date of the 29th March on which it is currently scheduled to happen. As I write this letter it is uncertain what will happen, whether there will be a Brexit and if there is what type of Brexit, and how the current political deadlock will be broken.

Whatever the outcome, one thing is clear is that as a country we are divided on this issue, and whatever the outcome half the country is not going to like it.

And so there is significant challenge for the leaders of the country, whatever the outcome as to how they try and unite a divided country. One way might be to show greater love and respect to those that disagree with what you hope for. In Matthew 5:41 Jesus says; “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your friends, hate your enemies.’ But now I tell you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may become children of your father in heaven.” In our situation that mean’s praying for both those who represent our views, including on Brexit, and those who don’t.

In the life of faith it is not what people say about us that defines who we are, and it is not what people do or try to do to us that defines us either, it is the way we respond that defines us. What Jesus says should define his disciples, is that we do not seek revenge, but that we will react with love, and pray for all, including those who persecute us, or with whom we disagree.

For us as Christians there is the challenge to love and pray for all, including the ones that cause us to shout out at the television or radio.

In Jesus’ command to love and pray for our enemies we cannot choose which ones we will love and pray for, we have to pray for all we know about, because Jesus’ death and resurrection, is about both bringing us to God, and uniting us.

Your friend and minister

Duncan