Encouragement for the Journey
Greetings Fellow Traveller,
Welcome to this sacred place called St Aidans, welcome to you who have not been here before, welcome to you who have not been here for awhile, welcome to you who regularly gather in this place.
To welcome another, is an act of gracious hospitality, an act of spacious love. Love is the theme of our Café Church today, and this was decided way back at our planning meeting in December 2013. So in the serendipitous mystery of life we are blessed to have a baptism as part of our service.
Baptism is an act of welcoming with love, children, young people and adults, into the worldwide family of God. Today we baptise Isla, acknowledging she is greatly loved by both her family and this community of faith, which is an expression of God’s love for us all.
Love is much more than images flashed on our TV and Cinema screens and sung in the lyrics of popular music. I am sure you have your own ideas, images and experiences of love. Later in our service you will have an opportunity to share them with us if you wish.
Love is more than a feeling it is an action. I recall reading of the last public gathering at which the late Prime Minister David Lange spoke. He was asked the question, what was perhaps the greatest moment in his ministerial career, was it when he won the Oxford Union Debate? (You may recall this debate 1 March 1985, were David uttered those well known words ‘I can smell the uranium on your breath,’ when he argued for the affirmative that Nuclear Weapons are Morally Indefensible). David replied to the question, “No, it is to love and be loved.” A few months later he died.
His response is a powerful reminder that ultimately it is love that truly matters, not what we may achieve materially or if we receive public accolades, but how we love extravagantly.
May your presence here this morning offer you encouragement ‘to love and be loved.’ This is what it means to be truly human and is at the heart of the Christian story. There are millions of quotes about love, this is a favourite of mine, and I offer it to you:
Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, human beings will have discovered fire.