Spread a little light and love and laughter...
Spread a little light and love and laughter... There is nothing quite like a visit to the seaside on a warm sunny day. For those of us who are older, it brings back happy memories of childhood, of buckets and spades, gazing into rock-pools as if into another world and splashing in the waves. For children it is just fun to be in an environment which offers so many avenues of exploration.
I was lucky enough to grow up by the sea and I’m lucky now to live and work in a place where the beach is so close. When we read about Jesus life, a lot of things happen; a lot of conversations happen in and around the shores of Lake Galilee. We know a number of his closest friends were fishermen and clearly he spent a lot of time in and around the lake meeting people, listening to them, teaching them and helping them.
Today, Galilee is a place of peace and serenity, but also a place where there are beaches and boats and fun for those who want it. In Jesus time it was a busy place full of merchants and traders and fishermen. The Galilee was on the boundary between two different regions with different laws and different taxes so it was the ideal place for people to gather for business and for relaxation. It attracted a huge diversity of people from all different cultures and backgrounds - ideal place if you want people to listen to you and begin to think and talk about God and who God is.
St. Matthew tells us “Jesus went all over Galilee, teaching at the synagogues, preaching the Good News about the Kingdom, and healing people who had all kinds of disease and sickness.” (Matt 4 v 23) Imagine the impact Jesus would have in a busy cosmopolitan community like that and how they would be keen to learn more about him and listen to his stories - maybe even seek his help. When we read on and discover some of the things he said to people we can understand why they followed him. He spoke about loving your enemies (Matt 5 v 43) and being salt and light for other people - “you are like light for the whole world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matt 5 v 14) It was his way of saying how we can all help each other by spreading a little light and love and laughter - something which is perhaps easier to do when we are away from the tensions of everyday and relaxing on holiday or even when we are just enjoying a day at the beach!
Very Rev. Alison J Simpson
St. Columba’s, Nairn