Letter from the Vicarage - February 2017
BLESSINGS FROM THE VICARAGE
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Slightly following on from last month’s letter, one thing that can help to bring comfort and light in these colder and darker months is the knowledge that you belong to something… perhaps belonging to a group of some kind - your family, your friends, your bridge partner, your church, your social club, perhaps a sports team or other hobby club, a reading or learning group, etc.
When you belong, you are valued by others (I hope) and may have a function or purpose (although this is not always necessary), thus an identity. When you are isolated, either physically, mentally or indeed spiritually, so much of this can be lost which is both detrimental to personal health and the health of the community overall because one can close in on oneself trying to find oneself. Then it is hard to surface and re-join the community as relationships and bonds have been broken.
I’d like, if I may, to open out some thoughts for February about belonging…
I believe we are all individually and corporately a strategic part of all creation… and no matter what we look like or how abled, disabled or non-abled we are, or what our colour or creed may be, our very existence or ‘being’ contributes either positively or negatively to ongoing life.
No matter how a person believes or tries to believe in God (or doesn’t believe) – he or she cannot deny that each of us humans have an existence with every other created being in the overall existence of life in the Universe, which is pretty miraculous. Therefore everything belongs…
We belong to God (the All or Everything that we live within); we belong to creation; and we belong to each other.
What could believing in this bigger vision achieve?
Well, it’s something I feel very much called to enable, and that is the giving of love across the human made boundaries that have caused segregation and isolation. As we are all in the same boat as it were, none are better than anyone else and actually we are all living in varying degrees of relationship with each other. So within our villages for example, I believe there is no such thing as ‘church people’ and ‘others’ – we all attend various and many groups. I do not believe in separating out simply because someone attends some group or other. It’s all simply part of the flow of life in this area. Every person boxes and coxes alongside each other and it’s wonderful to learn about and from each other’s lives and experiences. Sometimes there are disagreements but when put against the bigger picture and long run, most of these can diminish if overall there is love and forgiveness, and we can return to knowing we simply belong to everything and each other. This is the basis of great community life!
From the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament: “In the beginning God created everything, and God saw that it was good…”
From Paul’s first letter to those in Corinth (Chapter 3 verse 21) “For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.”
With love and prayers
23rd January 2017: Funeral of Elisabeth Perreau