Today I ate a £5 note!

5-pound-note-series-e-2002-frontWell … ok …. I chewed up half a £5 note …. and it was yesterday!

One of the fun things I get to do as a team vicar / chaplain is lead Collective Worship (assembly to those of us from my era!) in each of the three schools in the Koinonia Federation. Yesterday was one of those CW days and the theme for this term is ‘Love’ with John 3:16 as the central verse.

I wondered what to speak about and then decided to adapt something I saw someone else do using a £5. First I asked the children who or what they loved. Then I asked what love was …. a Y2 girl answered ‘being there for someone you care about no matter what’

I thought that was a pretty cool definition of love.

I then took a nice £5 note out of my pocket and asked if anyone would like it.
Obviously all hands went up. I then ripped it in half (to gasps of shock!), screwed it up, danced on it, and finally chewed it up in my mouth (yes!!! my flipping mouth after it had been on the school hall floor!!!) to sounds of ‘eeewwww’
I then asked if anyone still wanted the £5 note. Most still did.One child got the £5 to take home … when I asked why he wanted it he said ‘well, it’s still a £5’

The more I talk to people, the more I seem to be seeing and hearing that this image of a loving God, a God that sent a son because he loved the whole of creation (humanity as well!) to save them, is being lost. The image of a ‘loving you no matter what’ God seems to be being replaced by an autocratic, rules based, angry demanding God.

That is not a god of good news.
That is a god of fear.
That is a god of oppression and hate.
Following a god like that unsurprisingly results in a ‘faith’ like this. I can’t bear to have such a sickening picture on my blog …. a faith of hate is not a faith rooted in a God of love.

So … today … in this first blog for a while … I want to leave a message that I left the school with yesterday …. God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
That means God loves you and is committed to you no matter what ….
if you feel that you have been treated badly,
or you feel worthless
or you feel like you have been ripped in half
or screwed up
or chewed up and spat out;
if you feel any or all of these things,
God loves you.
Because
at the end of the day
(like that £5 note was still a £5 note)
you are still the person that God created
you are still that person that God loves
and nothing can change that.
Nothing at all.
Amen.

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