05. Rector's Newsletter

Rector's Newsletter for July 2022

To your credit…

Although it can prove to be quite a challenge at the moment, with the global cost of living crisis and with ordinary everyday costs soaring ever higher, to be in credit is a great feeling. 

To be in debt, however, particularly seriously large debt, can plunge many people into the darkness of despair, and worryingly large amounts of people are trapped in a vicious cycle of ever-increasing debt with the availability of easy, yet obscenely expensive credit. Thank goodness for the existence of Credit Unions, who provide a great service to cash-strapped families and our local Foodbank and Foodshare Community Pantry to help relieve some of that financial pressure for those who need it at the moment.

Nearly all of us have a deposit account of some kind or another, and each of us also has a deposit account in heaven, and it will be through our obedience, faithfulness and intimacy with God which will see the credit grow in that particular account.

But we’ll not see our credit grow by the amount of things we own, or the amount of wealth we create for ourselves. We’ll not see it grow by withholding our generosity to others in need or by appearing to be active in our faith.

When Jesus taught his disciples, along with a large crowd who had gathered to hear him speak, about the important aspects of a real and living faith, he taught them about building up credit in our heavenly account. In Luke 6, Jesus says; “If you love those who love you, or do good to those who do good to you, or lend to those who can pay you back, what credit is that to you?”

What credit is that to us, Jesus asks, when we do the easy things, when we do what would be expected of us anyway? It’s so easy to love those we like, but not so those who irritate, are argumentative, are unattractive or have a different viewpoint. It’s easy to give to someone whom we know will pay us back, but not so when we are not certain of having it returned. Therefore our credit rating will be fairly low, says Jesus, if we live out our faith in this way.

But instead, says Jesus, we are to live our lives as Christians, as followers of him, by doing the hard, difficult and challenging things that our faith demands of us; giving without expecting a return or counting the cost, and loving and forgiving those whom it is difficult to love or forgive.

I watched some time ago the classic movie “The Nun’s Story”, with Audrey Hepburn in the starring role as a Belgian Nun who struggles painfully with the call to obedience and forgiveness, especially when her beloved father is killed by German soldiers during the Second World War. The whole movie tells the story of how this devoted and faithful Nun tries again and again to give up herself and serve only God and the people whom God has put before her. I’m certain that her heavenly credit account was full and healthy as she strove to do those difficult things that Jesus calls us to, with love and grace and compassion.

Each day I check my credit rating – not my bank account or energy provider – but my heavenly credit rating. In my time of prayer at the beginning and end of each day I assess and reflect where I have been poor or lacking in my love or forgiveness of others or where I could have given more of self for the benefit of others. And often that account looks to be quite low on available funds. But I continue to be obedient and faithful and offer myself in order that God can use me. And I remember each and every day the huge debt that I owe to my dear Saviour and friend Jesus.

With every blessing this July.  

Revd Paul

The Revd Paul Wilson

Rector of the Epworth Benefice

St. Andrew’s, Epworth.

St. Mary’s, West Butterwick.

St. Pancras, Wroot.