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Viewpoint from Rev Frank Cliff 09/02/2018

Rev Frank Cliff
Curate, Great Yarmouth Team Ministry


as publsihed in the Yarmouth Mercury


Dove rightAs I write this, we are in the middle of the Christmas season, when you read this article Christmas will have ended on the previous Sunday (4th February). I can hear the questions now, Surely Christmas finished on Boxing Day? What do you mean Christmas lasts for 40 days?  As a season of the church year it indeed lasts 40 days
These were the questions I used to get when I worked as a Laboratory Manager on the Gapton Estate. It highlights how our consumer needs and the pressure of advertising has distorted our view to one of “what will I get this year?” instead of “What can I give?”.  We miss the profound truth of Christmas
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”  (John 3:16)
Here is the meaning of Christmas and of the coming Easter.  We live our lives as though only our own needs matter and in doing this we disconnect ourselves from those around us and, by example and word, this is what we teach our children who grow up to teach the same message
dove leftIf we are to grow and flourish as people and as a society we need understand that we are not alone, we do not exist in a self-centred isolation from everyone else. We need to understand that our actions act on everyone around us.  This awareness of the interconnections between ourselves and the world around us is a constant thread in Jesus’s teaching here is the unpacked meaning of the command to “Love your neighbour”.  If we want to have a just, fair and peaceable existence then we have to work to that end. It means we have to examine our actions and those of others. It means be brave and saying this is wrong. It means examining everything that affects us including those decisions by our elected representatives
The religious seasons in the year for all religions give us the opportunity, to reflect on our beliefs and actions, to strengthen our connections with our society and to seek a peace within ourselves that is beyond understanding
So, through this year I would ask that you act mindfully and that as a town and society we grow in love for one another


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