Sunday, 30 October 2011

Because you're worth it

At Grace on Sunday evenings we are thinking about the impact that Jesus Christ has had on the history and culture of our world. Although largely marginalised in Western Europe, his influence has been immense. Whether it be in the field of learning (think the formation of great universities like Oxford and Cambridge), or virtues like humility (so undervalued in the ancient world) or the dignity of all human beings (followers of Jesus have lead the way in campaigning for the rights of children, for the abolition of slavery and for the care of the dying, amongst many other causes).

No doubt religion and Christianity have sadly got many blemishes in their history, with current issues of money grabbing TV evangelists and abusing priests amongst other blights on the name of Jesus. But such things cannot fairly be laid at the door of Jesus himself about whom no-one has ever seriously doubted his integrity and genuine love for those he met.

Last week I gave the talk on dignity. It wasn't a particularly stunning bit oratory, but I tried briefly to point out that the Bible teaches the extraordinary fact of all human beings being made in the image of God and that Jesus in his public life time and again showed just how valuable all children women and men are to God.

Just this week there has been various stresses in our family, chief amongst them being the sad loss of my sister in law Sue to cancer. She was Biddy's sister and much loved by her. When Biddy met with friends for a prayerful time of support his week, they all sang the old hymn Fight the good fight. I've thought much about the words of the verse
Faint not nor fear his arms are near, He changeth not and thou art dear 
Yea, we are indeed 'dear' to God. Infinitely loved and special to him. And not loved because we are loveable! Indeed God demonstrates his own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5.8)

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