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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

29 June 2011: Rev'd William Hughes, St Peter's Church

Give thanks

Occasionally circumstances give us the opportunity to learn about a completely new area of life. My opportunity last week came when the Vicarage drains blocked completely, and the professionals came and opened up a world which had always been under my feet, but never quite so clearly under my nose.

When thanked, one of the team said glumly that 'people are always glad to see us when their drains are blocked, but they are never pleased to see us the rest of the time. No one ever says they hope to meet us again.' I suspect people don't shake his hand often either.

A priest once rang an electricity company, and was asked the nature of the problem. He replied that there was no problem, because although there had been a power cut the lights were now back on, and he had rung to say thank you. The operator was silent for a moment, and then replied in confusion 'My form doesn't have a box for that.' It was a shock to receive a thank you, but also a shock to realise that it had never happened before.

I wonder how many of us have one standard of behaviour to friends and family, and a lower standard for those who we meet in different contexts. Throughout the Gospels Christ always saw the human being first. Whether they were commanding troops, gathering taxes or waiting at tables, sick or well, rich or poor, they were equal in His eyes, and He gave Himself entirely for each of them. Their worth, and ours, comes from being made in the image of God. No person is worth less than this, and it is impossible to be worth more.

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