St Barnabas Church, Joydens Wood

Vicar’s Letter July and August 2017
Another Ten Commandments...

I have been reading a book about the life of the great Methodist leader and preacher Dr William E Sangster, written by his son, Paul.
It is a fascinating biography of a man who was something of a conundrum. He was completely committed to his work as a Christian minister and he was very efficient and learned, very erudite. One of the foremost Christian leaders of his generation, with an incredibly heavy workload, he was also a family man, full of fun, laughter and the enjoyment and appreciation of the company of people of all types and backgrounds.
One of the things Dr Sangster did, in a playful spirit, but with his usual underlying deep respect for scripture, was to come up with a list of his own ten commandments.
Unlike the scriptural Ten Commandments, which begin with the words “THOU SHALT NOT....”, Sangster’s list begin with the words “You shall... This idea really appealed to me, and so I was inspired to have a go at compiling a list myself based on Dr Sangster’s outline. ***
Here it is!
1 You shall appreciate the lovely world that God has made, the beauty of nature, the changing seasons, the wonder of all creation.

2 You shall cherish the gift of love that you have received from parents, and from partners, the love that keeps on loving even when you are most unlovely.

3 You shall enjoy your home, and your community.

4 You shall value the simple, playful company of children (and always honour their trust in you).

5 You shall appreciate the company of friends.

6 You shall enjoy the gift of laughter, in a kindly spirit.

7 You shall enjoy art, books, poetry, architecture, music and singing.

8 You shall cherish the privilege of helping others.

9 You shall rest in an abiding sense of God’s peace.

10 Above all these things, you shall enjoy God, in the sure knowledge that he is utterly Loving and that he cares for you.

How about you? What would your list include?

God bless
Reverend Ren Harding
contact me at The Vicarage, 6 Tile Kiln Lane

*** You can find the original list in Paul Sangster’s book, Doctor Sangster which was published by Epworth Press in 1962

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