Thought for the month

Thought for the month -

Hope

If you ask somebody what Hope means, they will wriggle a bit and then say something like ‘ well it’s what you are looking forward to isn’t for the future?’ How does that fit with ‘ I hope so’? All English Bibles are translations from Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic versions.  The scholars translating to produce an English version would naturally be people of their time and speak as others did. Irrespective of all that, we should use the word with greater care.  ‘Hope springs eternal’ so they say – while there is life there is hope and other phrases come to mind.  Always we should be looking at the future, at the outcome and working towards that. Life can be a walk with Jesus and the bible tells us of many people who decided to do exactly that. You need not ask for a destination. Just as all roads lead to Rome, so all walks with Jesus will bring us by his heavenly grace to our Heavenly Father.

 

Charity

Ask any prospective bride what hymns and readings she would like for her wedding and after first declaring that she does not know any, gradually some will become apparent.

The New Testament reading will almost certainly be St Paul’s Second letter to the Corinthians Chapter 13, (Love is patient, Love is kind etc.).Why this one you may ask, to which you will reply ‘It seems that this is the only reading about love’.

Turn the clock back 60 years and the bible that was read was the so-called ‘King James’ version published in 1611.  No mention of love here – it uses the word Charity, not to be thought of as Oxfam, Scope or Willen Hospice, but a broader love – a love which Jesus commended in the Summary of the Law’, by saying ‘Love God and Love your neighbour as yourself’. In other words, treat others in the way you would like to be treated.  The Greek language has a number of words for love – love of parent, love of neighbour, love of brother, love of self, all are covered by the one word Caritas meaning Christian love of humankind, charity.

Faith, Hope and Charity have often been used as girl’s names in the 19thCentury.  This year (2020) we know only one person with the name Charity and none at all with the names Faith and Hope, but yet I say unto you:

‘Faith, Hope and Charity. These three things and the greatest of these is Charity’.

Anthony Houghton-Brown