05. Rector's Newsletter

Rector's letter for June 2024

“…do not let the sun go down on your anger”

As someone who tries to create balance, peace and calm wherever I go, it can be so disturbing to witness the extreme expressions of anger, rage and often pure unbridled hatred in our world today. Whether that be globally with the devastating and deadly conflicts and wars between nations or polarising division between political ideals, or closer to home with posts on social media or in aggression and violence within communities leading to people being harmed or even killed. This isn’t how we are called to live and wasn’t the purpose of God’s creation.

Of course, the reasons for these widespread extreme reactions are complex and multifaceted, often stemming from fear, injustice, and the feeling of being unheard or marginalized. And of course, these kinds of occurrences are not only limited to this generation. We only have to look back at recent history to see the results of polarising division, hatred and anger.

As God’s people, we have to remember to be wise and every mindful that, while anger can be a natural response to perceived threats or injustices, it can also be manipulated for profit or political gain. This manipulation can exacerbate the intensity of anger and rage, leading to a cycle of negativity that can be difficult to break.

However, it's important to recognize that anger, when channelled positively, can be a force for change and justice. It can motivate individuals to address wrongs and work towards a better society.

Therefore, as we move towards a General Election here in this country and hear about elections in other countries, we need to be wise and balanced in our opinions, judgements and decisions to ensure that injustices are corrected and the good of all in our society is paramount.

The Bible offers us some wisdom on how to deal with anger, rage and hatred. One pertinent verse is Ephesians 4:26-27, which says, "Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity." This passage encourages us to acknowledge our anger but to manage it in a way that does not lead to sin or give room for further negativity. It's a reminder that while anger is a natural emotion, it should not control us or lead to actions that we might regret.

Another verse, James 1:19-20, advises, "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires." This scripture highlights the importance of patience, listening, and self-control. It suggests that a hasty reaction in anger is often not aligned with the righteous life that God calls us to live.

Reflecting on these verses, it's clear that the Bible does not condemn anger itself but rather the actions that can result from it if not handled properly. It calls for a reflective and measured response, where anger is processed in a healthy way, leading to constructive outcomes rather than destructive ones.

As we navigate the complexities of our world, it's crucial to approach anger and rage with a sense of understanding and a desire to transform these emotions into positive action. By doing so, we can work towards a world where anger is not a dominating force but a catalyst for positive, hope-filled and joyful change for all.

With every blessing for June.

Revd Paul

The Revd Paul Wilson

Rector of the Epworth Group of Churches

Priest-in-Charge of the Belton Group of Churches

Assistant Curate of the Crowle Group of Churches and the Haxey and Owston Ferry Plurality

Rural Dean of the Isle of Axholme Deanery