NEW

We Wish You a Merry Saturnalia: Northern Churchman

We Wish You a Merry Saturnalia? The Northern Churchman There is a familiar feel to this time of year. The Christmas advertising on television, the darker evenings, the Carol Services – and the inevitable scoffers who call the Christmas story a myth. Not ‘Once in Royal...

Mark Pickles: The Story of Two Trampolines

Gospel-Driven Anglicanism By the Revd Dr Mark Pickles The Story of the Two Trampolines:  A passage that is frequently referred to during times of great revival is Isaiah 64:1-3:  “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your...

Ten Thousand Bibles for London’s Children

TBS Auxiliary Meets Ten Thousand Bibles For London’s Children The Greater London Auxiliary of the Trinitarian Bible Society was delighted to report at its Annual Meeting held on 15 November that over 10,000 Bibles have been distributed to London schools since the...

Good News for Egypt’s Christians

Barnabas Fund Reports Good News for Egypt’s Christians The government of Egypt licensed 125 churches and church-affiliated buildings on 14 November. It is the 24th batch of approvals made since the government committee overseeing the licensing process started work in...

Church Society’s Response to MP Ben Bradshaw

Church Society’s Response to MP Ben Bradshaw In the aftermath of Desmond Tutu’s daughter being refused permission to preside at a funeral in a Church of England parish, Labour MP Ben Bradshaw told The Guardian that the “C of E must move swiftly to welcome lesbian...

Collins: Who’s Your Righteousness?

Who’s Your Righteousness? By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins Who’s your righteousness? "The Lord our Righteousness" was the sermon preached March 20, 1757 at St. Mary's Church in Oxford. It offended nearly everyone that day and William Romaine was invited to never preach...

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Act of 1963

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Act of 1963 Persons Against Whom Proceedings May be Instituted. Proceedings under this Measure may be instituted against an archbishop, any diocesan bishop or any suffragan bishop commissioned by a diocesan bishop or any other bishop or a...

Editorial: Joy to the World Cup

Editorial Joy to the World Cup The result of the 2022 FIFA World Cup is already in. And it appears the Church of England has lost. The latest advice from the Church of England’s Support Hub is for parishes to consider the timing of Christmas Carol Services to avoid...

Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership

Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership By Chris Sugden Andrew Symes is to stand down as Executive Secretary of Anglican Mainstream on January 1, 2023, after nearly ten years in post. Rev Symes, 56, who had earlier served with Crosslinks in South...

Retired Bishop Given Life Suspension

Retired Bishop Given Life Suspension By George Conger The former Bishop of Ramsbury has been suspended for life from the ordained ministry after he admitted to having sexually abused two women. The Daily Mail reported the Rt Rev. Peter Hullah had been the subject of...

Pilgrim’s Process by Peter Sanlon

Pilgrim’s Process

By Peter Sanlon

One of the best known Bible verses tells us ‘God is love.’ (1 Jn. 4:8) Being loving is vital because of what the first half of that verse teaches – ‘Whoever does not love does not know God.’

So on our pilgrimage we must be people who love. If we do not love people then we cannot be in a genuine relationship with the God who is love. The problem is that our world struggles to say anything that makes people feel negative, or anything that goes against the grain of what people want – is loving. We enthusiastically cheer at the idea that God is love — but we do not know what love is.

Hendrickson wrote, ‘Not everything that is called love, really is.’ He was commenting on 1 Tim. 1:5, which reads, ‘The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.’

So our world imagines that anything the heart desires or wants is loving. To challenge or rebuke what somebody deeply wants for themselves appears unloving — even bullying or discriminatory. But things that we want for ourselves that do not come from a pure heart — which has been washed and renewed in the image of Jesus — are not truly loving.

In order to know what really is loving, we need to know what is pure and holy. And we need to have our desires reordered and renewed by the Spirit (Rom. 5:5, Gal. 5:16-17).

This means that those who help us on our pilgrimage will not always affirm our desires — sometimes we need to be challenged, corrected or rebuked (2 Tim. 3:16). A church is a place where we should expect to be prepared for our pilgrimage by being helped to love one another and love God. That is not always a comfortable or easy experience! The Bible talks about ‘putting to death’ sinful desires (Rom. 8:13) and ‘crucifying’ the flesh (Gal. 5:24).

We can be better prepared for our pilgrimage to see God if we ponder what the desires and attitudes are in our hearts, which may need to painfully be set aside in order to truly love God and others. Prayerfully reflecting can lead us a few more steps forward.

Revd Dr Peter Sanlon is Rector of Emmanuel Anglican Church, Tunbridge Wells: www.emmanuelanglican.uk

Previous

Next