The Parish of Sandal Magna

God so loved the world that he gave…


On the BibleGateway web-site you can type in a word and find where and how often it is used. Here’s a brief league table: believe 289, pray 367, listen 412, follow 435, love 686. Surprisingly, the greatest of these is not love, but give with 1,434 mentions! This may come as a surprise, but in a way everything vital to life is connected to giving. Creation is God's gift. Jesus is God's gift: "God so loved he world that he gave his one and only son…."

And Paul, quoting Jesus, wrote: "It is more blessed to give than to receive." When we give of ourselves to others, when we sacrifice our own interests for the sake of others, whether it is bringing up children, caring for someone, raising funds for charity, it may be exhausting but it is more rewarding than when we live for ourselves alone. If we are made in the image of a loving and giving God, then we will be most fulfilled when we are loving and giving. As Jesus said, "Give, and it will be given to you, for with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." This is not about self-interest but generosity. 

Ultimately our lives are measured by how much we give, not by how much we keep for ourselves. The futility of collecting things for yourself became clear when I used to work in an art gallery. You would sometimes hear of people collecting works of art that would mostly be stored in warehouses, and then on their death dispersed at auction. As Jesus said: "What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?" Far better to give yourself and what you have to bless the lives of others. Then your reward in heaven and on earth will be great. 


Rupert's article published in The Wakefield Express on the 3rd March




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