St Mary Magdalene † St Bartholomew † St Alban †
Sunday 13th February 2011
…Perfect Love Casteth out Fear … (I John 4.18)
As I write these words I am aware that next week is Valentine’s Day and this week has been National Marriage Week which is endorsed by the Church and, according to the by-line, “celebrates commitment”. But my thoughts are not so much of romantic love but of a slightly different kind of love:
the love of God to us as Christians.
A close member of my family is facing surgery and continuing medical treatment for a life-limiting condition and naturally we are all concerned. As I was thinking about all of this, the above verse came to me – “perfect love casteth out fear”, in the Authorised Version.
The commentators point out that it refers to forgiveness
– we have no need to fear God because of our failings since God has shown us his love and has forgiven us –and it also refers to confidence.
It is the confidence part that I want to stress. There are many passages of scripture which refer to Christian confidence and, I suppose, there are many because there need to be. We are human and we fail and we fear and are anxious. This verse should help us to calm our fears and concerns. Of course like so much in the Christian life it isn’t easy. It isn’t meant to be easy, but it is there, for us to reflect on and draw on. How we can use it is up to us.