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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

28 March 2010: Rev'd Joanna Farrell, Steep and Froxfield with Privett

The cost of a gift

A schoolboy was admiring the silver in his church used for the celebration of Holy Communion. Then he noticed the inscription around the foot of the chalice, “To the glory of God and in loving memory of . . . .”. “Wow!” he said, “Imagine giving that to the church! He could have bought a house or something instead.” The silver probably wasn’t quite that valuable but it led to a discussion about why people give precious and beautiful objects to churches, in this case in gratitude for the life of a particular person.

In the Bible Luke’s gospel tells the story of a woman who had been a sinner but Jesus had forgiven all her sins (Luke 7:36ff). In her gratitude she brought him a jar of very precious ointment with which she anointed his feet, at the same time bathing him in her tears and drying him with her hair. Other people objected to her rather strange behaviour but he said to them, “Her sins, which were many have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”

Christians believe that God gives forgiveness to those who believe in his son Jesus and in his death and resurrection. Forgiveness is a gift that frees us to love and to live more fully. I wonder what your response is to such a gift? Your own prayer for forgiveness? A gift of love for God?

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