The first of our new series of Food, Faith and Fellowship meetings was held on 18th March.
Our speaker was a young man from the Leigh and Hindley Circuit, Mr. Thomas Martin.
Thomas gained his First Class degree in Religious Studies from St. John's University, York last summer and is currently following a year's Teacher Training course to be an R.E. teacher.
Very involved in his own church, he helps run the Circuit Youth Fellowship. Thomas reminded us that in Galatians Chapter 5 St. Paul speaks of 'the fruit' and not 'fruits' of the spirit and began by asking us to consider this. Are we looking at one fruit of the Spirit which has nine attributes? Was St.Paul meaning that the nine work together to deliver the 'fruit' of the Spirit.
Thomas went on to speak about love, asking us to consider its many manifestations – a complex topic and not easily described or understood. In the King James version of the Bible, the word love appears 137 times in the O.T. and 139 times in the N.T. New versions vary and why is this? Thomas reminded us that it goes back to language usage and that in Greek there are four words for love and its expression. The fourth of these is 'agape' meaning the charity or brotherly love that St. Paul was speaking about.
We were asked to recall quotes from the Bible with the word 'love' which is a recurring theme. Loving our neighbour is not necessarily an easy task and we look to the love of God to the world which is unconditional, seen at its utmost manifestation in the Cross. 'Agape' is not love that is automatic – it is love by choice. The opposite of this love is not hatred but indifference. We are accepted in to God's love.
St.John the Evangelist said, 'God is love.' The instruction is to 'love thy neighbour' and not 'love thy doctrine'. All is centred round the actions of the love that is 'agape'. We care given the choice – so choose, take the decision, and allow love love to radiate through our lives. Thomas left us with several quotes and the one from Gandhi was: "When there is love, there is life."
This is a brief resume of some of the points Thomas shared with us. He left us with much to ponder on.
The evening with the simple meal beforehand went well and seemed well received by an attendance of about thirty people.
Food, Faith and Fellowship Gallery
Food, Fellowship & Faith
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