Faith Hope and Love
26 May 11
Faith, Hope and Love and the Greatest of these is Love
It was meant to be a quiet contented summer but Parliament had to be recalled twice; firstly for the hacking scandal and then for the riots. It has been a time of heart searching. Almost all the people involved in the riots were born and brought up in this country. The riots happened here to the astonishment and amazement of nations throughout the world. What is going so badly wrong? How can we ensure that what we have seen never recurs again?
We look to our government and the courts to sort things out. But they have only two tools at their disposal that are not available to every person - the power to grant money and the power to punish. They must use these tools as effectively and powerfully as they can, but it can not be enough. We desperately need to restore our values.
Our faith is so special. It keeps us inspired, strengthens us in time of need and challenges us to help. It gives the joy of prayer and of Christian fellowship and a friend in Jesus. Let us pray for a greater confidence in sharing among our friends and neighbours and pray that God will show us how best to support churches sacrificially seeking to share faith in the difficult conditions of England's inner cities.
One thing our society lacks is hope. The children lack hope that they will achieve when they grow up. Young people lack hope that they will get any job-let alone a worthwhile job- when they leave school. Parents lack hope for their children. The elderly lack hope that after death there will be anything at all. Of course this is a generalisation, and there are wonderful and exceptional people who inspire us all, but fear seems increasingly to be a driving force and hope is fading. Let us do all we can to restore hope and to name the source of our hope in Jesus himself. That hope will not disappoint us.
We just don't give relationships the priority we need to. We need to restore the commitment to each other and in particular the commitment to support our young people as they journey to adulthood. I remember with gratitude the men who inspired me as I grew up – my Dad (certainly) but also my headmaster Mr. Perkins, my cub leaders Mr. Tuck and Mr. Green, the priest who prepared me for confirmation Revd. Harris and the Rev. Thomas who lead our church youth club. I hope you too had people who helped you. Please pray for our young people that God will grant them the support that yo enjoyed. And may love direct us in all we do.
The immediate problems of the riots must be dealt with quickly and effectively. In the long term there is only one answer- a society not driven by money but founded on faith, hope and love.
On a happier note may I invite you to share lunch with John, Bishop of Warwick at Ansley Village Church Hall on Wednesday September 7th. He'll be there from 12-2pm but feel free to come and go as you please. You will be most welcome.
Your friend and Vicar,