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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

5 September 2018: Sylvia Roberts, St Peter's Church, Petersfield

Unity through diversity

My son was married recently and as preparations were being made for this event several members of the family asked if they could give small items of old gold to the bridal couple to be melted down and made into two new wedding rings for them. This duly happened and has led to much happy discussion within the family about the symbolism of such a happening. As the gold came from three generations of forbears – great-grandmother, grandmother and mother – some of the talk was about whether the ordinary intimacy of the gold items could perhaps somehow intrinsically remain, despite the heat of the melting process, to bless and protect the newly weds? A ring always worn on the hand of a hardworking great grandmother born before the first World War; a chain from a loving grandmother who was both a nurse and a teacher and earrings from a Mum always ready to lend a sympathetic ear. All three women blessed with happy marriages to bring blessing to a new marriage?

Becoming more philosophical, discussions progressed to the blending process and how gold of different carats and from different eras had combined happily into two simple, new, plain gold rings and this led us on to thinking about the extraordinary make up of any family or community. People from all walks of life with many different personalities, likes and dislikes and problems, blending together. It made us remember John Donne’s immortal words, “No man is an island. No man stands alone.”

It also made me smile as I recalled Jesus’ words as reported by John, “I pray that they may all be one, Father! May they be in us, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they be one so that the world will believe that you sent me.”
In a troubled world I guess we would all pray for understanding and empathy between people of all races and creeds as we learn to live together in one round world.


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