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A Message from Our Vicar – August 2017

        ‘Working as Christ’s presence within the world’

Revd Lynn Boyle

Revd Lynn Boyle

‘Faith, hope & love abide, these three, but the greatest of these is love.’ 1 Corinthians 13

There is probably more talked about, written about, sung about and joked about, the subject of love than any other subject in the world. It subconsciously and consciously sits at the forefront of the minds of most human beings. And although it occupies so much of our mind space, love, as we well know, is the most complicated of emotions. We speak of the love of the heart – that is the emotions, but it is of course generated by the chemical signals of the brain. When we speak of love we have to engage our brain, because it is in the brain that the different forms of love are understood. The Ancient Greeks were at the forefront when it came to the classification of the types of love and they came up with four names: Eros, storge, philia and agape.

Eros is the passionate and intense love that arouses romantic feelings; it’s an emotional and sexual love and can be short-lived if it does not move up a notch into one of the other types of love, such as:

Storge is the love shared within a family. It’s the love that parents naturally feel for their children; the love that members of the family have for each other; the bond among mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, and brothers. Philea refers to an affectionate brotherly, or sisterly, warm and tender platonic love. It is the love of friendship. It is a committed and chosen love.
Then we have Agape – this is the unconditional and giving love which accepts a person for who they are, regardless of their flaws, shortcomings or faults. Agape is the love that is and of God, who is love itself. Agape is a love that accepts flaws and faults and ultimately drives you to forgive.

Agape is evident by what it does, by a person’s actions and reactions. It is the selfless love of one fellow human being for another that we have seen outpoured over the past few weeks. This country has rarely seen such tragedy upon tragedy, and it could overcome us, if it were not for that selfless love, that agape, we have witnessed time and time again. Agape is all about sacrifice, it is love freely given, love that expects nothing in return. And it is because of this deep love, borne in God, that no matter what happens we have hope. And it is this love and this hope that helps us to stand together, in strength, as one tragedy follows another. It is this love that will drive us forward in unity of mind and spirit and heart. And as we stand together, we do so knowing that we do not ever stand alone: Our God, who is love, who suffered for us, and understands our pain, stands beside us and will always be with us even in our darkest hours. ‘Faith, hope and love abide, these three’: With continued faith and hope in His eternal love, and our commitment to sharing that love with our neighbour, all will be well.

God Bless



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