The Little Things

Posted under The Rectory Bulletin

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much” (Luke 16:10).

Many years ago, on a whim, Mary and I set off to look for the source of the river Wye. As it bends its way past us in this corner of Herefordshire it is a broad and often fast moving river, cutting off one side of the county to another. Close the Holme Lacy bridge, and cars pour through the lanes looking for Hoarwithy.

Further downstream, the river is greater yet as it passes by Monmouth heading for the Severn Estuary. Follow it to its end and you will find a great bridge spanning it, somewhat overshadowed by its larger sibling, the Severn bridge. For one hundred and fifty-five miles, this river flows through Wales and England and for much of its course if forms the border between the two countries. The mighty Wye indeed.

Go in the opposite direction, as we did, and the river shrinks. It becomes a large stream which you can cross simply by putting on some wellingtons. And then the boots themselves become pointless since you can simply hop from one side to another.

Now, truth be told we never got to the source. We were taking a rather leisurely, car-based approach to the whole affair and we parked as close to the source as we could. Getting out the car it all looked rather rough, windy and wet. So we got back in the car. Others - hardier types - have tramped across the hill and found the source. This mighty river begins with a squelch under your boot. A trickle from a spring. Tiny.

It is the way of God to begin great works from small beginnings. Daylight begins tentatively, and the small buds appear on the trees. The oak hides in the small acorn, and the lofty pine has its cone. Pay attention to the small matters in your Christian life, and you will - you will - see great things grow.

What is the Love of God?

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17) - For here is the love of God: Jesus comes alongside us in our danger. Here is the love of God: an action and not simply an emotion. This is the way in which God loved the word. He sent his only son. We face death, and Jesus comes to offer us a way to life.

St Julian of Cilicia

“By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks” (Hebrews 11:4) - Born in Cilicia (southern Turkey) in the second half of the third century, Julian was a man of rank. His father was a senator, and his mother - crucially - was a Christian. When he reached eighteen a great persecution of Christians broke out under Emperor Diocletian who ruled from 284-305. Julian soon found himself in the hands of Marcian, who proved to be a brutal magistrate and wanted to break the young man’s resolve.

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