Don’t follow me, follow Jesus

God loves you… now read on.

I’m not interested in drumming up business for anything -I’m an Anglican priest with a parish to work in and enough to do here in reality, I don’t need a cyber parish or a soapbox, I have real people to care for and a real pulpit to speak from; and I find all the cheesy marketing of personal life products online really depressing… Because if you are already online, and you are looking for hope -then the last thing you should be doing is signing up to another bit of unreality online to find it… Better to pluck up courage, switch off the computer, go outside, spend time on your family and on your education, and join a local club, helping out somewhere with realworld problems, or getting a bit fitter… and above all go and seek God’s nearer presence in some of the local church communities that surround you.

I suppose that all the cheesy internet marketing rubbish I come across is one reason I continue to blog, even though right now I ought to be writing Sunday’s sermon and preparing a Bible Study (or at least tidying my desk again so I can keep track of what I ought to be doing). I would like there to be a bit of free and sincere hope available to folks trawling the internet.

I would like anyone who reads this to know… there IS hope. God DOES love you… and what’s more, he likes you too… fat or thin; male or female; white or black; old or young; intelligent or simple; whole or maimed; trapped by worldly cares and wealth or free from possessions; in trouble with the law or in favour with the government; saint or sinner… Jesus came to reveal God’s love for you and me.

God loves you even when you hate him, that’s basically the crucifixion summarised.

God loves you even though you may not recognise him… take a look at any of Jesus’ close disciples, they had NO idea who he really was for most of the time… the light gradually dawned over the resurrection and pentecost… as the Holy Spirit came to dwell within each believer.

God loves you even though you remain more interested in wealth… in fact he wants to free you from this empty pathway to death… that’s why he spent the day with Zaccheus, that’s why he called Levi, the apostle known as Matthew… God had a higher hope for him than collecting empty coins… he was called to be a prince of the church.

God loves you even if your local preacher says he doesn’t… there will be trouble a-plenty for those who mistake the call to repentance for the pronouncement of personal judgement… The pharisees were quick to condemn in an attempt to shore up their own position and righteousness… but God alone is righteous, and what’s more he is merciful -just don’t give up trying, you are called to be holy, but not to be arseholey.

God loves you even though your parents may reject you… actually this one is spelt out in the Bible, just check out Psalm 27 verse 10… ‘though your father and mother forsake you, GOD will not forsake you.’

God loves you even though your lover may abandon you… in fact, God’s love for you is deeper and more passionate than anything you will ever experience on earth… read Song of Songs… it is NOT just a metaphor, it is a love song, love poetry -explicit and full of longing, and meant FOR YOU, FROM GOD.

God loves you even though you may not love you. Self-acceptance is a very good thing, and not always an easy thing to achieve, but self-love can be a delusion -we are meant to be with others, to long for others and to long for God -a mirror and a big confident smile are not enough in the dark of the night when the fears of years creep upon us… But God’s love is bigger and more constant than our own -and he will hold onto us even when we can only let go and sob.

God loves you.

Really.

It’s what I live by. It won’t make me rich in coin or land. It won’t mean I never get ill nor that my family are safe from all disaster. But it does mean I’m not defined by imaginary figures in a bank account or by the state of my health, it does mean I can face life and death with a certainty that someone far wiser and bigger than I am loves me, and that he loves you too… so I ought to love you too and trust that he knows what he’s doing.

 

 

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About Jemma

Learning to be both a priest and a human being in the Anglican Church
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