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Minister's Meditation 29.03.20

1st JOHN, Chapter 4, verses 7 to 12

 

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Whoever loves is a child of God and knows God. 

8 Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. 

9 And God showed his love for us by sending his only Son into the world, so that we might have life through him. 

10 This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven. 

11 Dear friends, if this is how God loved us, then we should love one another. 

12 No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in union with us, and his love is made perfect in us. 

 

 

MEDITATION

 

During the current Coronavirus crisis, there is an expression which is frequently used: “We are all in this together.”  We all run the risk of contracting the virus.  Even figures like the Prince of Wales and the Prime Minister have fallen victim to it.  It’s also true that we are all experiencing a sense of isolation as we distance ourselves from one another.

 

Whatever else we human beings are, we are social creatures.  We like to interact with each other.  This is how the virus has been spreading; and as we draw back from one another, our economy has virtually ground to a halt.  We are highly dependent on one another for goods and services.

 

The Bible offers rules on how we go about our social interaction and it is often summed up in the commandment that we should love one another.  The way in which this has been demonstrated in recent days has been most impressive.  An appeal was made for 250,000 volunteers to help 1.5 million vulnerable people with underlying health issues.  Within 24 hours 504,000 had signed up.  At a local level, individuals are phoning round friends and neighbours who are elderly or lonely and cheering them with a brief chat.  Others are offering to fetch shopping or medicines for those who dare not venture out.

 

Sadly, there are others who have gone to the opposite extreme.  They have behaved very selfishly, hoarding stocks of toilet rolls, soap, pasta, etc. and depriving others of these basic essentials.  Others have tried to profit by conning people with scams relating to the virus.

 

Jesus told the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats who were separated at the last Judgement.  The sheep were invited to the King’s right hand, were called blessed and invited to inherit the Kingdom because they fed the hungry, cared for the sick and welcomed strangers.  This crisis is giving us all the opportunity to show our true colours.  Let’s seize the opportunities which confront us to ease the burdens of our fellow men and women.

 

 

PRAYER

 

O God our Father, we give you thanks for all the love we experience throughout our lives, but especially for the love we are being shown at this time of global crisis.  We thank you for all the people who share in our lives, members of our own family, our friends, our neighbours and our colleagues.  We ask you to bless them and shield them from the worst effects of the virus.

 

We give thanks for those who supply our food, those who grow it or manufacture it, those who transport it, and those who sell it in shops and supermarkets.  We ask you to protect them from harm and insult.

 

We give thanks for those who look after our health, doctors, nurses and all the ancillary workers of our National Health Service.  We ask you to give them strength for the demanding task which now confronts them and uphold them in the face of all the risks which they take for the sake of others.

 

We give thanks for our political leaders who have pulled together for the sake of the nation and we ask you to guide their thinking and their decision making.

 

Above all we give thanks for your love expressed in the life and death of Jesus.  As we approach Easter, enable us to grasp afresh the greatness of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross and the wonder of your love for us all.

 

Enable us to place our trust in your love and to reflect it in our own living.  At this time of crisis help us to play our part in sustaining and encouraging each other.

 

All these things we ask for your love’s sake. Amen.

 


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