From the Rev. Bobby Liddle.
Last month we met as the family of faith at Legacurry Presbyterian Church to make one of the biggest decisions in the 177 years since services of worship began here. Know that I haven’t retired yet so you will continue to have my support in the decisions you make for as long as God sees fit to keep me here as your minister.
What was even more important than the decision made was how it was made. There was a calm, friendly, often humorous tone. One person contacted me to say they were “inspired and motivated by the mood and discussion”. As I said in the News Sheet at the weekend how we pray together, serve together, witness together, treat each other in the weeks and years to come is of paramount importance. Christ and His Kingdom are of first importance.
How Christians abused one another in the wake of the Brexit vote was a scandal and dishonouring to the name of Christ Jesus. Brothers and sisters in Christ we MUST NOT go there.
Paul, writing to the Colossians, emphasises that we are all different and will hold differing opinions but Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
We must go out of our way to speak to those with whom we have not agreed. There must be no mockery or gloating and no cold shouldering. We must go out of our way to reassure everyone of our continued love and fellowship. Indeed, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
I am convinced that for us to go forward together and be a fruitful congregation to the glory of God, then we must Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Forgiving and ‘bearing with’ may sound negative but positively and purposefully over all these virtues (we must) put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
It is the responsibility of each of us to ‘put on love’ but also to keep the peace and to promote peace. Therefore, Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Yours in His service,