Our soon to be married daughter returned home for a few days this week. Edinburgh is a long way away, and thankfully she seems so very happy, but forgive my rather grumpy ‘I’m losing a daughter’ moment; her life seems less connected to ours than ever before. Of course this is to be expected, but letting go and trusting another is more difficult than I imagined. Change is never easy is it? Our news is rightly full of another possible and huge change with the upcoming EU referendum question. David Cameron has been earnestly negotiating a better deal for the UK, striving to convince us that staying in the EU will be better than leaving. Has he convinced you? I’m sure you have your opinion in this but crunch time is coming when deciding ‘in’ or ‘out’ seems so final, as our Scottish friends know well from recent experience. Not fifty shades of grey, but black or white, in or out?
Direct questions that demand definite answers are more awkward now than I remember. The ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer is more commonly replaced by the ‘I believe’ answer, meaning there is no right answer, just opinions, and mine is as good as anyone else’s. Yet, ‘I believe’ answers too often fail to answer the important questions. Take Easter as the perfect example; the question Easter poses is not whether God loves us, the question is whether we love God, ‘yes’ or ‘no’? The Easter message sees God offer everything for us. He doesn’t place the weight of expectation on us, He has taken that fully upon Himself. He allowed His Son Jesus, an innocent man, to be wrongfully arrested, then beaten, convicted, despised, rejected, crucified, to die an horrific death, to wash away the worst of you and me and the world around us. Such sacrifice and forgiveness are often too difficult to comprehend, but through this sacrifice God offers us all the possibility of a new beginning, a second chance, new hope. The question is not whether God loves us, He has already answered; the question is whether our response to His love is ‘yes’ or ‘no’, whether we will trust in what Jesus did for us on that first Easter or not. Matthew 7 v 13 says; ‘Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.’ I prefer the ‘I believe’ answers, when my opinion is as valid as any other, but some questions only allow ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. What will it be?
Alan Comfort - Rector