Andrew Stephens Rennie is the pastor of St. David’s Anglican Church in Castlegar

Andrew Stephens Rennie is the pastor of St. David’s Anglican Church in Castlegar

FAITH: We are loved

Column by Andrew Stephens Rennie, St. David’s Anglican Church in Castlegar

Submitted by Andrew Stephens Rennie, St. David’s Anglican Church

One morning a few weeks ago, I arrived at the doors to St. David’s church to find a letter taped to the door. This piece of correspondence began with a call to wake up in all caps and in both official languages.

The letter went on to use handpicked scripture quotations to warn me of the doom that is surely coming my way.

“Prepare to fall from on high,” the letter said. “Prepare to be well disappointed,” it went on. And finally, “Prepare to be destroyed.” I shared a photo of this letter with friends on Facebook, which generated no small amount of conversation. Throughout the day, many people responded with a mixture of amusement, bewilderment, and concern.

What specifically did the author want me to do? It was not clear whether they wanted to warn me of my certain demise, or to rejoice in it. They wanted to get a point across but what was it? There was no return address, no conversation to be had, just an anonymously posted letter with a turn-or-burn message.

Perhaps they saw it as a way of evangelizing, but it sure didn’t sound like good news to me.

Sometimes Christians can be weird, dangerous, even hateful. Sometimes we Christians use the scriptures to serve our own purposes, to do more harm than good. Sometimes we get it wrong, hiding behind the Bible to justify our own fear and prejudice. This is wrong, and it’s something for which the church — in all of its forms — needs to ask forgiveness.

The thing that keeps me coming back again and again to the Christian scriptures and to the person of Jesus is the promise that I am enough. You are enough. We are enough. The good news that I find in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is that we are loved as we are. We are loved as we are and we are invited both to receive that love, and to share it with our neighbours.

On the streets, and in our relationships — at home, at work, at school, with family, with friends, with our neighbours — we have the opportunity to let people know that they are beloved. That they are treasured. That they are enough. We don’t say these things nearly often enough, do we?

In a world where there are some who would make us feel less-than-enough or less-than-beloved, Jesus levels the playing field. You are enough, he says. You are beloved.

When I received that letter at the church, I doubted that truth for a moment. What had this person seen that they would put these words in my face? And then I remembered that no matter what others say, I am beloved of God. I remembered that I am enough in God’s sight.

And so are you.

Imperfect though we may be, and though we struggle, we are beloved of the Creator. And as we come to know this truth of ourselves, we are empowered to make sure everyone we meet knows and experiences this truth too.

Andrew Stephens Rennie is the pastor of St. David’s Anglican Church in Castlegar.

READ MORE: FAITH: A love that pursues



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