Ride and Stride (12-09-20)
Updated: Sep 13, 2020
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. (John 15:13)
This afternoon, I will spend two hours sitting in our local church. This is not how I would usually spend a Saturday afternoon but I will be there manning the church just in case we have any visitors. I don’t know who might turn up but these visitors will be arriving either by walking or by cycling. The reason for this is that today is Ride and Stride. Ride and Stride is the single largest source of income for many Historic Churches Trusts, enabling them to make grants to places of Christian worship. Taking place on the second Saturday of September the funds raised can be split between the nominated Trust and the participants chosen church or chapel. So many people across England will be putting on their walking boots or their cycle helmets in order to raise money for something that is important to them.
Over the past months we have seen many remarkable acts of sacrifice and perseverance by people who have felt passionately about something and have responded by putting themselves out and making great efforts to raise money. Earlier in the year Sir Captain Tom caught the hearts of millions of people by walking in his garden and last week a young 7 year old boy from Corby called Caeden, who was born with cerebral palsy, climbed up Ben Nevis to raise money for the charity Scope.
I see all these events as expressions of love; love for the many wonderful historic churches that we have, love for the NHS and love for the charity Scope. Out of love people are moved to put themselves out, to endure hardship and pain in order to make life better. In God we have the supreme expression of love - that he was prepared to send his Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us in order that we might be saved. He came to give us life, life in its fullness and to die so that we can have eternal life. What is our response to such an expression of love as that?
Father God, we thank you for loving us so much. Help us to share something of your love with all those that we meet this day.
Song: How deep the Father’s love for us. (Stuart Townend)