Indifferent to Love
My sincere apologies for the very late appearance of yesterday’s video service. It was filmed on Friday and should have uploaded in the normal way but something went wrong and try as they might the Techno Elves could not get it on line any sooner. Hopefully this will not happen again.
1 Thessalonians 2: 17 206: 13
17 But, brothers and sisters, when we were separated from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. 18 For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan blocked our way. 19 For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? 20 Indeed, you are our glory and joy.
Elie Wiesel the great chronicler of the Holocaust and Nobel Laureate once said that the opposite of love is not hate as commonly supposed but indifference. You cannot be said to love if you do not care. I think I can only remember my grandmother being angry once. She was staying with us when we lived in Gloucestershire and a young man had been killed in a motorbike accident. He had swerved to avoid an oncoming bus and run off the road into a wooded area his body and motorbike were only been found the next day. At the Inquest it was stated it was not certain he would have survived had he been discovered sooner. The bus driver said he saw him swerve but assumed he had carried on round the corner. A passenger in the bus though did say she had seen him go off the road. Why then had she not said anything to the driver? Her answer which incensed my gran was that it was none of her business! She didn’t hate the biker but was completely indifferent to his plight, she couldn’t have cared less, and no doubt she thought he would extract himself from the wood but she had so little concern for a fellow human being she did not take the trouble to make sure. It was her lack of love and overwhelming indifference that put Gran into a fit of rage.
Paul here writing to the new Christians in Thessalonica couldn’t have cared more. He made it his business to find out how they were doing even though his plans to visit them and personally encourage were being constantly thwarted by circumstances.
Over these last several months I have made many phone calls either starting or finishing “I would much rather be talking to you face to face but that is not possible” I have no doubt many many people have felt the same.
We did not talk face to face not because we didn’t care but because we couldn’t. Indeed, in many ways it was because we did care and did not want to do anything to endanger anyone else.
At the end of the Foot and Mouth outbreak in 2001 we were able to start using our remote country Church once more. At the first service I told the congregation which was almost entirely made up of farming families that I and the town congregation had not been able to do as much as we had wanted, but we had held them up in prayer through all the long months. One lady immediately said “Praying for us is not a little thing it was a very great deed that you did for us”.
Paul knew that too. He may not have been able to visit but he had held them in prayer to their glory and joy.
When the history of the pandemic is written it may be that glory and joy scarce get a mention but there have been plenty of both and as we now more and more make contact again let us glory and joy together. Let us not be indifferent but givers of love.
Lord God our loving Father in Heaven, we pray for those rebuilding relationships, those who can touch those they love most again and yes those who seek to repair relationships damaged before or during this time. May each demonstrate their love and caring in your name.
In your Mercy hear our prayer,