For the next couple of weeks we look at 1 and 2 Timothy.
I Tim 1: 1-6
From Paul. God our Saviour and Christ Jesus commanded me to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, who gives us hope. Timothy, because of our faith, you are like a son to me. I pray that God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ will be kind and merciful to you. May they bless you with peace! When I was leaving for Macedonia, I asked you to stay on in Ephesus and warn certain people there to stop spreading their false teachings. You needed to warn them to stop wasting their time on senseless stories and endless lists of ancestors. Such things only cause arguments. They don’t help anyone to do God’s work that can only be done by faith. You must teach people to have genuine love, as well as a good conscience and true faith. There are some who have given up these for nothing but empty talk. They want to be teachers of the Law of Moses. But they don’t know what they are talking about, even though they think they do.
There has been much said about “fake news” and “alternative facts” recently. Much has also been said about getting back to an unspecified time so we can re-experience “greatness.”
This feels depressing as we wallow in self-delusion and falsehood. But in other ways it’s heartening to realize there is very little is new under the sun. Those in the early Church experienced the same thing and survived it.
So how do we move onwards? I think taking Paul’s good advice….. just stop it! ……have faith and love! …….grow up and realize that self-importance isn’t real importance at all!
Perhaps if we all heeded this we’d be able to move on from this rather depressing period in modern times.
Loving God, How frustrating it must be for you To see us endlessly repeat our mistakes. Twisting words to suit ourselves Lacking love Missing the point of faith. And yet you are there Endlessly patient As we stumble our way to you. Thank you for your faithfulness For that merciful kindness That holds us close even we are barely aware That you are there.
The Rev’d Dr Chris Dowd is a minister in the Hull Area Team.