Stanwick Group of Churches

February 2021

Dear Gentlefolk,

When I thought recently about The Ten Commandments, I realised there were two “Thou shalt” but eight “Thou shalt not”. However, the two greatest Commandments which summarise the whole law are “Thou shalt” and relate to love. The simple number count does not lend itself to the essentially positive joyful message of Christianity. I do not care for unthinking tick box exercises or number crunching.

We are also exhorted to love the sinner but not the sin, again positive. I am pleased to have my God judging me at my most important time of my exit from earthly life. How often might we ask mercy rather than justice for ourselves, but perhaps justice be done to others? Also, my God has given his son for our sins, perhaps we are more worthy in God’s eyes than we might think, a worthiness that is given not taken, and for God’s values rather than our own.

Ultimately perhaps we should strive to be as positive as we can about our faith, being as honest and sensitive as we can to others and as inclusive as possible: not everyone has a home in a lovely part of the world, health, regular income and happy home life.

At the time of writing, we don’t know where we are re Covid 19: it has however made us think about loneliness. The feeling of loneliness at various times of our lives is normal: we are never truly alone, God is always with us but I do not believe it is a lack of faith to have negative emotions at times but just being human. The acknowledgement might even lead to some empathy for those experiencing the same. Above all else our God is a God of love: perhaps as we have started a new year, we might feel loved, perhaps the most important emotion of all.

With heartfelt wishes for a Joyous, Peaceful and Loved New Year.

Ian W


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