A letter worth reading
I recently found among my late mother’s papers two letters written by her father to her mother (my grandparents) in 1919 before they were married. The first indicates that there had a been a falling out of friends which involved someone called Art (maybe Arthur). The letter began ‘Dear Miss Weaving’ and was signed ‘Yours sincerely, S Palmer’. The second was dated two days later: ‘Dear Annie, Your friend Sydney’. I don’t of course have Annie’s letter to Sydney and can only speculate about what she wrote but clearly they made up, Art disappeared and 7 years later my mother was born. Happy ever after!
In the New Testament there are numerous letters, significantly older than those exchanged between my grandparents. Many of them were written by the Apostle Paul in the middle of the first century AD. His purpose in writing to the new worshipping communities in the towns of the middle east was varied. Sometimes he chastised them for falling our with one another or listening to false teachers; sometimes he wanted to encourage them when things were difficult; most of all he wanted them to remember the most important message of all: that in his death and resurrection Jesus gave (and continues to give) those who follow him, freedom from sin, guilt and shame. Not freedom to sin, but from sin which leads to guilt and shame. Not life lived by religious laws but life lived in love, faith and forgiveness. The advice he gave then is still relevant today. His letters are worth reading, why not try one. (if you need some help to find one, please feel free to contact me.)
Canon Bronwen Gamble. Rector of the Parish of Wiverton in the Vale