I was once at a confirmation service where the former Bishop of Exeter, Michael Langrish, gave an excellent sermon, using a ladder as an illustration. My memory of it is a little dim now, so I’ll be forgetting the nuances of his point, but in any case the image of a ladder has remained in my mind.
Tag Archives | love
A month ago I ‘spoke’ at a church in Exeter via a pre-recorded video interview. After they saw it, I called in and we had twenty minutes of Live Q&A via phone. There were some excellent questions, which I tried to do justice to in my answers. Here’s the audio and the transcript.
To be drawn towards a people group or country doesn’t mean you swoop in to fix their problems, or try and make them assimilate to your culture, but to listen and adapt yourself to their culture. It is to open your eyes to the weaknesses and arrogance of your own culture, and to change not the people but yourself. True mission is not so much about giving as learning to receive; not so much about speaking as listening.
We don’t just need spouses who love well, though we certainly need those. The world needs churches who love—in sickness and in health.
If this year you’re feeling quite blue
And your patience is all but worn through
If your children are restive
Or your nose is congestive
And you wish that the old year was new
It is a natural response to want to creep back into the safety of our tribes, to draw lines about what makes us ‘us’, and them ‘them’, but it is not the way of love. Love crosses boundaries and borders; it dares to stare people in the eye and love them for their personhood, their humanity.
God is love, through and through – daring, defiant, powerful love. God calls us to love others in the way that God alone loves: seeing them truly, loving them entirely.
For us it was my unexpected neurological illness that turned our love upside down. If love languages were inflexible things, we would have been sunk.
“What’s her name?”
The airport official spoke over my head to my husband and it took me a while before I even registered she was referring to me.
Why doesn’t she just ask me? I wondered. And then it clicked: it’s because of the wheelchair.