Welcome to Merrow Methodist Church
Merrow Church is currently open for Services on Sundays. The next service is Sunday 1st November at 10.30am.
To book a place, please email: email@example.com
The Church is also open for Silent Prayer on Wednesdays between 10 and 11am.
Guidance can be found on the following page: Guide to Services
MESSAGE FROM OUR MINISTER - REVD ASIF DAS
Matthew 22:34-40 (NIV) Love of Another Kind
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
All of Torah, all of God’s Teaching is summed up in two lines. That is good, because after the original sin, we humans routinely mess up with, especially, the moral rules that God has set up to help us keep from hurting each other and ourselves. Two commandments: love God with all your faculties, and love your neighbour as yourself. So worship God alone and treat every other human just as well as you treat yourself. This is easy to read and understand, but not so easy to follow or act upon.
We tend to disobey the rules because when we wake up in the morning and re-start our operating systems; in general we start by thinking about ‘me/I’. How do I feel? Do I really want to get up now? What are my physical needs? Am I hungry for anything? We are not thinking about God and we are certainly not thinking about our neighbour. It takes recollection and probably prayer in order to get us imagining God’s presence and what we owe God. It takes maybe a few hours to think about how we can help other people.
Loving others is not easy, in fact there are times when it is downright difficult, and that is because not everybody is all that easy to love. In the Bible Passage above, Jesus demands from us love of a different kind. The world only knows what is called a natural kind of love. It is the most prevalent love around. It is a love that loves only those who are lovely and who are going to love us back, which is only natural and logical. But there is another kind of love. A love that does not look for value in what it loves, but rather creates that value through what it loves. It is a love that places no preconceived ideas or conditions on what it loves. This reminds me of a story, ‘Rosemary’s Rag Doll’. Rosemary was three years old when she was given a little rag doll. Soon the two became inseparable, and while she had nicer and more expensive toys, none were loved like that rag doll. However, over time, Rosemary’s rag doll became more rag than doll. It was stained and dirty, and every time it was cleaned or washed it became more ragged. Now the sensible thing to do was to throw away the rag doll. But that was unthinkable for anyone who loved Rosemary because the rag doll had become an inseparable part of Rosemary’s life. And so if you loved Rosemary, then you loved Rosemary’s rag doll; it was part of the package.
"If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar." (I John 4:20a NIV). "Love me, love my rag dolls," says God. This is the love that is required of us in those two great commandments. It’s such a love that Jesus said should be the number one priority in our lives.
Now, what most of us desire in this unprecedented time is to be church in ways suited to life in this situation. But such a revival is, I believe, predicated upon our capacity to love with this other kind of love woven in these two commandments. But it is not human love, or the love that is promoted by our society and culture, but rather it is a divine love, or the love of God our Heavenly Father.
Every blessing in Christ Jesus,
Rev. Asif Das.