The day came that we all knew must surely dawn, our monarch of 70 years, our sovereign lady Queen Elizabeth II has died and we commend her to God’s gracious and eternal keeping. At the same time we acknowledge King Charles III to be our new Head of State and Lord of Mann.
We will be reflecting upon Her late Majesty’s life, her years of devoted service and her strength of faith in the days and weeks to come, as individuals, a Church and a nation.
One of the over-riding qualities that Her late Majesty embodied was her generosity of time, commitment and spirit. This quality of generosity was the original theme for this newsletter, and I continue to offer those original thoughts below.
Generosity is the third of the Diocesan Visions (the others being Renewal and Faithfulness which I have considered in our previous magazines). Over the next three years churches across the diocese are aiming to be more generous. As Christians we are called to share the blessings that God has showered upon us with others. Generosity is another of the Gifts of Spirit listed by St Paul (Galatians 5). It has many aspects; time, abilities, finances and fellowship with other people to name but a few. For example, we are being generous when we make time to be with people in need, to listen to them and to sit patiently alongside them in times of difficulty.
We are being generous when we share our life experiences and faith to support people, offering Christian guidance and advice that we have found beneficial. We are generous when we spend time in prayer and meditation that then overflows into our daily lives, our speech and behaviour, glorifying God and putting the Gospel into action.
We often think about money when we think about generosity, and it is important to financially support the Church in mission and worship as well as maintaining buildings. However, generosity is much more than this, it is about genuinely providing personal, pastoral and spiritual support to one another; caring for ourselves, our buildings and all of our resources so that we may grow and flourish in soul, mind and body. This includes care of the environment, actively supporting diocesan environmental initiatives and using our buildings more creatively to benefit our villages and their needs. Being generous requires courage and commitment, a willingness to do things differently sometimes and to support events and ideas that we personally may find challenging. However, God is faithful and showed us the ultimate example of generosity in sending Jesus. Nothing God requires of us will ever match that gift.
I pray that God will continue to be generous, faithful and gracious to you. Also, at a time of great change I pray that we can be generous in our relationships and interactions with each other, embodying a spirit of love, care, gentleness and peace in a grieving and troubled world.