A group of people once went on a three day retreat. On the first day the enabler told them to spend the day thinking about God’s love for them. On the second day they were told to think on how they loved God. On the third day they were told to think on how they might love their neighbours. After the three days the participants, in their thinking, had discovered all that is at the heart of a relationship with God.
Nothing more, nothing less.
Perhaps we should use this New Year to focus on those three directives.
To know God’s love for us is fundamental to all that we might consider as necessary to be a person of faith. So, set some time aside each day, each week, each month to contemplate on God’s love.
We will, of course, sometimes struggle with knowing God’s love for us. Sometimes we might feel God is too far away. This is when we need to retreat and again focus on that which we know to be true, God does love us. We will need to keep coming back to thinking on this. Only when we return to an acceptance of God’s love can we begin to reflect our love for God and our neighbours.
Once we are personally assured of God’s love we can then begin to contemplate on how we might love God. As Christians, recognizing God in Jesus will help us to know how we might respond.
To follow Jesus is to take a journey of faith, essentially from the cradle to the grave and beyond. Even if we came to a faith later in life the truth is that God has always loved us.
Being part of a community of faith can help nurture both our understanding of God’s love and our response to love God and our neighbours. Belonging to the Church provides us with opportunity to reflect on, and respond to God’s love.
Reverend David Glasson
David is a retired Methodist minister who lives in the village of Wensley. The picture below is that of our own minister, the Reverend Doctor Robert Foster.