HARD TO LOVE EVERY BODY

Dear God, I bet it is very hard for you to love all of every body in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it. Nan

ANYBODY GUESS I’VE JUST BEEN to our monthly church council meeting? I’m with Nan, the wise girl who recognised early (see her note, above) that it’s tough going trying to love the other three members in her family. Trouble is, when it comes to the love business, (and that’s our business), we’re all different! And that makes finding unity in diversity and dialogue and decision-making difficult, on many levels, especially, for me, and probably for you, in the necessarily evening business meetings that follow hard on the heels of suppers too hastily swallowed.

I often cite the old joke “God so loved the world that he didn’t send a committee.” And some of us might write a winning theology of going it alone if the joke were really the truth. World weary during and after many a church council meeting everyone present wonders how much quicker things might actually happen if it were simply left to us. But the joke isn’t actually the truth because God did and God does send a committee (called humankind). We’re built for community life – even those of us who have need of frequent recourse to solitude. And, worse to contend with, I know that most of the exciting things that happen in my church community would never see the light of day at all if being church here in Bramhall was all down to me – or you, on your own.

Nan’s note to God suggests to me that she’s thankful that someone does love every body in the whole world, even if it’s really hard. And her (no doubt probably too harsh) reflection on her inability to love her own family is a hopeful sign. Because she’s thinking about it. Maybe wishing things were different?

And actually, though we don’t always like it, and we’re kidding ourselves if we say that we do, the Christian life is all about reflection on our inability to love, and a Divine call, by Divine example, to get down to the really tough business of trying to do something about that. So we shouldn’t expect the councils and the counsels of the Church to be always scintillating, still less always to our personal liking. Better to reflect that we do, actually, need each other. Better to be willing to persevere. Better to listen, to grow in mutual respect, and thus, by and by, arrive at some useful decisions.

Tired, yes. And I’m to chair the Mothers’ Union AGM tomorrow! But truth will out: our PCC  coaxed a couple of really exciting things into daylight, tonight. So it was worth it.