Faith, Hope, Love
The Bishop of Southwark's call to mission was founded on Paul’s words written to the Christians living in Corinth, found in 1 Corinthians 13:13
“And now faith, hope and love abide, these three and the greatest of these is love.
God is love and his love was revealed among us in this way:”
God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.
In this is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:7-12)
And so our story begins…with a God who creates us in and for love.
Who desires to make us whole, and who seeks us and calls us by name.
Jesus said ”Come, Everyone who thirsts come to the waters. And you who have no money, come buy and eat”
Come to me all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest.
Take my yolk upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yolk is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
It is often harder to receive than give. How easy is it for you to allow Gods to love you as you are?
Faith is the choice to trust, for without the risk of trust there can be no deepening of relationship.
Faith is the choice made to trust God with what is important to us.
As part of a community of faith, we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses, people of faith who over the centuries have chosen to follow the way of Jesus and put their trust in god and who share their experiences and understanding with us.
We rarely experience the feeling of total trust. More often we wonder how safe it is to give ourselves into God’s hands. We would rather have our life in our own control, yet we recognize the limits of this way of living.
Faith is an action – a choice to go where god leads, to let go into God’s care even if part of us wants to draw back.
Hope leads us to act purposefully in the present as we anticipate the work of love in the future through drawing on the memory of love received from the past.
Hope is not wishful thinking though, which is often an avoidance of reality. Christian hope begins with what is facing this reality and sees not just what is but what can be. It is not blind to obstacles; it takes them seriously and is practical in addressing them.
Hope is the overflow of the Holy Spirit renewing us and engaging us n bringing about a new creation in Christ.
Hope is not only about what we believe but what we live and moves us into God’s vision for ourselves, our church and our community.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. (1 Corinthians 13:1-8)
Love is the work of the Holy Spirit within us. It is :
Creative, compassionate, practical and generous. The bible says that we love because God first loved us.
We don’t always feel love; it’s a choice to act for another’s benefit.
Love is the beginning….
And now faith, hope and love abide, these three and the greatest of these is love.
St Mary's actively supports a number of Christian charities, through prayer, raising awareness and a variety of fund raising activities.