Last Sunday I was worshipping in York Minster. The words of the Epistle, as always, struck at my heart:
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
When I was Archdeaconing in the Oxford Diocese, I used to tell parishes that, if I could, I would have those words written over the door of every church, inside and outside. The history of the church suggests that Christians have all too often had an unimpressive reputation where kindness and tender-heartedness are concerned.
There are spectacular exceptions, of course. All are sinners, but all can be saints, when kindness, and tender-heartedness, are our way of being and living.
The disruption of recent months has left many bruised and raw. Sometimes that is revealed in behaviour and language. Our challenge, as we seek to return to easier times, is to allow grace to heal us, and transform us into the people God longs for us to be. Kind, tender-hearted, and forgiving.