St Helen's Church
St Michael's Church
So, not a harsh winter so far all told, even our farmers agree. Hope nothing changes dramatically between me dictating these words and them going to print! The Eskimos famously have many words for snow, the reason being of course that it becomes obvious that there are different types of snow when you live in a snowy environment all year round: dry snow, wet snow, large flakes, small flakes, snow that you can build with snow that you can’t etc. I sometimes wish we had a few more words to choose from in the English language, love being a really important one.
I was reminded of this by my Mum who will be 92 in March. Although she is quite forgetful now and can be a little confused she still has much wisdom to share. I wanted her to know how much she is loved, while she can still understand. The result was perhaps predictable – of course she knew she was loved, it was just that people didn’t talk about that so much in the old days, perhaps people were too busy just trying to survive from one week to the next. Mum thought that the word love is over used these days. She has a point. It can be used all the time, trivialised, becoming superficial. The Bible, however, has many different words for love. In the new Testament alone we find that the original Greek uses three different words for love.
Phileo Signifies friendship, fondness and affection.
Philadelphia describes the Love that binds family members and which, in a Christian family, allows us to love one another as brothers and sisters.
Agape is divine love a love we can share in, a love we can know In Christ Jesus.
The only Greek word for love that we don’t find in the new Testament is eros because that of course is romantic love, a source of blessing that is very special to us, to be used sparingly and carefully.
It is interesting to note of course that there is no Biblical word for love of inanimate objects or any kind material possession.
Perhaps we need to focus down on the contexts in which we use the word love, which is so precious that it is even one of The names of God (1 John), but where there is an appropriate context to use it much more than we do at present.