God Welcomes All! (March 2017)

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It does not matter who you are, or what kind of person other people say you are, God welcomes you!  That is a wonderful, beautiful truth about our God.  He knows each of us better than we know ourselves, he knows all the good things about us, and he also knows all our failings, and he still loves us.  He wants us to be more Christ-like, but even though we fall short of that he loves us.  He welcomes us to be with him, so that we can learn more about what he wants us to become to be most fulfilled. 

That means, doesn’t matter if we are tall or short, thin or fat, dark or fair,  God welcomes us.  He welcomes us whatever our age, whatever our personality, whether male or female, whatever our race or background.  He welcomes whatever our hobbies, whatever our taste in music.  He welcomes us whether we are left handed or right handed, married or never married, widowed or divorced.  He welcomes us whether we are heterosexual or homosexual.  The list can go on and on.  God welcomes all of us, so the Church of which Holy Trinity Blacon is a small part, also welcomes us all, whoever we are.

However, as I mentioned, he wants each of us to become more Christ-like, more holy.  In that respect, we are all God’s work in progress.  He is constantly working on all of us to chip away at our faults, to make us more and more as he wants us to be.  And God wants us to work to become more and more in line with his will too.  That means, he does not want us to behave in ways which are contrary to his will.  If someone has a tendency to steal, for example, God would not want that person to continue to steal, but to repent and turn away from those ways.  As a church we would be failing in our teaching of God’s ways if we were to pretend that stealing was alright, because it isn’t.  Fortunately, most of society accept that stealing is wrong, and so there is nothing controversial in that statement.

Great controversy has arisen in recent years, however, over attitudes to homosexual behaviour.  Our society has decided that there is no problem with it, and so the law was changed so that same sex partners are now able to be married.  Some people want the Church to change its rules to allow such marriages to happen in Church.  The Church of England has been through a protracted process of discussion and listening to one another with different opinions on this, over the last few years.  In February, you may have heard that General Synod (the ruling body of the Church of England) debated and then narrowly rejected a report from the Bishops on the whole subject.  Whatever the outcome in the end, it is very likely there will be no change in the rules of who could be married in the Church of England. 

Marriage remains as it has been for centuries, between one man and one woman only.   One of the main reasons for this, is it reflects what Christians understand about why God made us male and female in the first place (which also reflects our biology).   The Bible also very clearly states, in both the Old and New Testaments, that homosexual acts are contrary to God’s will for us.  If somebody is attracted to someone of the same sex, that is who they are, and God loves them for that.  But it is the homosexual behaviour which is not what God wants for them.  There are groups of Christians who try to live out their homosexual lives behaving in a biblical fashion, and as a Church we need to affirm and support them in that. (See www.livingout.org if you want to know more).

However, whoever we are, and whoever comes through our doors, we are to welcome them in Christ’s name, to show how much God welcomes them  - and all of us.  Our aim at Holy Trinity is to reach out with the love of Christ, to all.

Tina Upton