Hastings, Bexhill and Rye Circuit.
Superintendent Minister’s Letter: February 2020
The Loving Heart
Valentine’s Day is celebrated on 14th February and many people will be expressing their love for one another by sending cards, giving gifts or arranging a special treat. Such things tell us that we are loved and cherished. We all need to know that we are loved. It boosts our self-esteem and encourages a sense of well-being. But why confine our expressions of love to just one day in the year? Should we not be showing love to one another every day?
Love is the heartbeat of God. If we are to be true to our faith we must show the world the loving heart. The New Testament proclaims the primacy of love. “Love is of God,” it says, because “God is love” (1 John 4). Jesus himself emphasises the centrality of love by pointing to the two great Old Testament commandments. You must love the Lord your God with your whole being, “heart, soul, mind and strength,” and love your neighbour “as yourself,” he says, because “there is no commandment greater than these”. At the end of the well-known passage on love in his letter to the Corinthian Christians the apostle Paul says: “Three things last forever – faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor 13)
Is this simply pious God-talk? An escape from reality? The real world is in the news each day with reports of war, violence, prejudice, persecution, pain, suffering and death. Unloving actions, insensitivity to other people and their needs, thoughtless words – the news bulletins are full of so many unhappy things. It is not surprising that people dismiss religion as a spiritual fiction and say ‘come down to earth’.
But isn’t this exactly what the Bible does? It talks of one who ‘came down to earth’ to be ‘God with us.’ As the gospel of John declares in the third chapter ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…’ This is the loving heart of God in action. If we are to be true disciples then we have no choice. We must be as our Master and offer the world the loving heart.
We can be encouraged and inspired by the many stories of the saints who have shown us the loving heart in action. But the loving heart is not only demanded from others. It is asked of us all. God in his love has given us all a loving heart. May God continually create a multitude of loving hearts and enable us share his love day by day.
God bless you all
Revd Tricia Williams