Church services in current times are distant affairs, zoomed into our homes by social media links rather than experienced in person, but nevertheless, church in Stonehaven remains an integral part of our community. Times like these are a test for every community, whether that be a nuclear family, workplace, social club or church, and it’s our prayer that each community, of whatever type, remains steadfast during these days, looking forward to better and more fulfilling times.
At Stonehaven Baptist Church this week we shared a scripture from the bible (Philippians 2:19-30) keeping in mind that the bible is a living book, as applicable in the modern day as it was when penned thousands of years ago. It’s perhaps the stark age of this book that deters those who refute its content, but time span itself isn’t a satisfactory reason. If we acknowledge that the bible is God’s word to us today, every bit as much as it was centuries ago, there is so much to learn about God’s undying and unconditional love for us, for you.
We learned then that the experiences of life are many and varied, welcome and unwelcome, but teach us lessons as we progress through our lives. We form habits and determine patterns that decide our happiness or otherwise, making good choices and bad, but if we put our imperfect will to one side, and choose to discern God’s perfect will instead, our journeys can be so much more fulfilling. By being selfless rather than selfish, serving others not being served ourselves, we can enjoy a terrific sense of peace. As we look out for the interests of others rather than ourselves, life becomes so much more rewarding, our hearts feeling at ease, our inner peace more pronounced.
And such kindness rubs off on others. We’ve seen great examples during this pandemic of selfless living by people looking out for others, offering their time in dedication to the welfare of those experiencing troubles of many stripes, not in order that their own nests be feathered but so that others might be given a leg up. Such goodness is inspiring, folk are impressed by goodness and want to replicate it, it can be contagious. And the greatest exponents are the understated ones, not boastful or proud, unassuming not braggadocious. We’re drawn to those who do good, particularly those who don’t feel the need to make a song and dance about it.
Selflessness is surely as loving a character trait as one can find, denying oneself for the benefit of others the truest act of love. Brave soldiers are inspiring, kind grannies too, selflessness coming in many forms and differing degrees, but it was never more pronounced than when Jesus chose to die an agonising death for the atonement of sin, not his own, for there were none, but for mankind’s. If we’re looking then for the ultimate example of selfless, sacrificial love and kindness, there it is right there, on the cross, and by dedicating our life to this ultimate author of love, Jesus Christ, his love will flow through us to produce amazing results, for others and for ourselves.