I had to change my route for my day off dog walk during the summer. I was horrified when my young dog, with great excitement and joy, contemplated running through a field of beautifully growing wheat. He thought it would be great fun. I didn’t. He was immediately put on his lead and we changed our route until the wheat was harvested.
Whilst we may have had a ‘right’ to walk along the path that runs along the side of the field there is also a responsibility to ensure that the crop is allowed to grow.
We all have rights; the right to be heard, to be valued, to be allowed to live on an even pitch. Rights are vitally important and help to protect the vulnerable. However, ‘rights’ are part of a two-sided coin and come along with ‘responsibilities’ which is often the overlooked side of the coin.
Indira Gandhi reflected that `people tend to forget their duties but remember their rights.’
Each one of us will have a different set of responsibilities or duties; family, work, friends, choices and behaviour, but does God ever come into that list?
Being part of God’s family brings the ‘right to be called children of God’ [John 1: 12] and all the joys of forgiveness, mercy, grace and life eternal. However, there are also responsibilities that go hand in hand with that right. Responsibility to live as God’s family means obeying God’s call on our lives to ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul and to love others as yourself.’ A clear sign of our commitment to God and the church lies in understanding our responsibility to prioritise and to give of our time, money and abilities.
Giving is at the centre of God’s character. God gives us life and his giving is renewed daily. The Bible teaching is clear, that giving is the responsibility of all members of God’s family -giving carried out in proportion to the gifts that have been given. At St Richard’s we are currently reviewing our Mission Action Plan (MAP) and looking at ways in which we can increase our giving to enable us to meet our responsibilities as a parish to support the work of the Diocese, to continue to maintain the fabric of the church and to fund the mission and ministry which will enable St Richard’s church to grow and flourish.
To help achieve this we are open to ideas from across the parish and we are being mindful of what the Bible has to say;
‘those who sow generously reap generously, those who sow sparingly, will reap sparingly….for God loves a cheerful giver.’ 2 Corinthians 9: 6-7
With every blessing,