Parish Magazines
Each month the Priest-in-charge writes a letter for the parish magazines. It is reproduced below. Previous letters are available on the Archive page.

Revd Scott Watts is the Team Vicar serving the parishes of Aston-sub-Edge, Dorsington, Honeybourne, Pebworth, Weston-sub-Edge and Willersey. Scott writes,

‘Love is all around’

Amongst other things, February brings with it St Valentine’s Day. This is a day when we should reflect on love and on what love is, giving thanks for the human love that we receive from, and share with, the one closest to us. Cards, of varying degrees of tastefulness, help us to convey the love that we feel!

But, what is love? I think the world has become increasingly befuddled by love. We confuse it with liking or enjoying something very much. And, let’s be honest, we confuse it with sex and even lust. Love, though, is something deeper, greater and more wonderful than all of those things.

For Christians, it is impossible to think about love without thinking about God – the author and creator of love. In particular, we think about God’s love revealed in Jesus Christ. To know what real love is like, we look to the cross where Christ was crucified and there we discover the characteristics of genuine love. This love is, first and foremost, enduring – it lasts through good times and bad. It is forgiving. It is selfless. St Paul describes real love like this,

"Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always "me first’, doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. Love never dies.” 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 (The Message)

This is what God’s love for us looks like and somehow, in the brokenness of our humanity, this is the sort of love that we should try to emulate in all of our relationships. It’s not easy and it requires constant work and dedication – I speak from experience!

Because of where Easter falls this year, St Valentine’s Day is also the beginning of the season of Lent – Ash Wednesday. This is a time when Christians prepare themselves for the great celebration of Easter and the eternal hope that comes with Christ’s resurrection life and light. Before Easter, of course, comes the pain and desolation of Good Friday and Christ’s once-for-all death on the cross. We’ll think more about that next month.

For now, though, I’d like to encourage us – and I very much include myself in this – during Lent, not just to ‘give something up’ but, instead, to think about love and about how in our dealings with others we can live out that Godly love that St Paul was writing about.

Imagine what our lives, our relationships, our communities and our world would be like if we all committed ourselves to that…


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