Good Friday

Love Conquers Hate

At the time of the recent tragic events in New Zealand the word “love” was used constantly. People said “love conquers hate”; The NZ prime minister advised Mr Trump to “love Muslims”. NZ Muslim leaders said how much they felt loved.

Love of God and love of neighbour is central to the three great religions. Devout Jews recite the words of Deut 6 twice a day. “Hear O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your might.” In other words, love God with all your being.

When Jesus was tested about the greatest commandment, he quoted that verse but added another from Leviticus. “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”  In other words love of God needs to be manifest in tolerance, care and support of others.

With so much tension in society at present perhaps we should be saying this daily:

“Hear O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your might. The second is this: love your neighbour as yourself”.

The Bishop's Lent Appeal 2019

The theme for this year’s appeal is ‘I came that they may have life and have it abundantly’. The Bishop of Southwark has asked if we can support projects not only in our own Diocese, but others in Sri Lanka, Kenya and Zimbabwe, including:

-          Work of the Leprosy Mission in Sri Lanka;

-          Church Army Africa’s Carlile College in Nairobi, which trains people for mission and evangelism;

-          The Diocese of Central Zimbabwe, who continues to work in very challenging circumstances, with many struggling without enough to live on, or pay for school or medical fees.

-          Sutton Women’s Centre who provide a space for women, who have often been the victims of domestic violence.

 We will take a collection for this Appeal next Sunday (14th) - Palm Sunday.

His-Story

His-Story

It has been said that those that forget the past are doomed to repeat it. This is usually applied to our national history, and especially wars, but I also think this applies to the church.

 When Christians forget those that have gone before us, we often repeat the same mistakes. Likewise, when we are attentive to learn from those who have gone before us, it helps us follow God. The author of Hebrews reminds us of this in chs 11-12. After listing the works of the patriarchs, he says:

 ‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us’. (12:1)

Perhaps the idea of looking at church history seems dry and dull, but it doesn’t need to be. Our history is filled with great stories of God’s mighty works, and faithful people, ready for us to delve into.

 Here is a great place to start: 5minutesinchurchhistory.com

5 minute long podcasts about events in church history. Easy to listen to, perhaps on the way to work one day each week, to help us look at the great cloud of witnesses that have gone before us, and point us to Jesus.