Teddy Bears song hits right note

Solihull News - - FAITH MATTERS - By Stephen Richards www. solidrock­news. co. uk

WHEN I was still in short trousers, there was a song out which I liked.

It was per­formed by the Teddy Bears.

The first lines went like this: ‘ To know, know, know him, is to love, love, love him. Just to see him smile, makes my life worth­while.’

A song by teenagers for teenagers and the sen­ti­ment went some­thing like this: Girl gets to know boy in such a way that she can’t help fall­ing in love with him hook, line and sinker.

Now her only de­sire in life is to bring him joy.

Press the rewind but­ton and go from the light pop cul­ture of the 1950s to West­min­ster Abbey in the mid- 1600s.

Here, Par­lia­ment had com­mis­sioned a gath­er­ing of clergy and the­olo­gians to work on putting to­gether a writ­ten con­fes­sion of Chris­tian faith.

The aim was to con­sol­i­date the re­forms that had swept through the Church of Eng­land over the pre­vi­ous cen­tury or so.

It was done in a ques­tion and an­swer style. Lis­ten to the first tenet.

Ques­tion: ‘ What is the chief end of man?’

In other words, ‘ why are we here?’

An­swer: ‘ The chief end of man is to glo­rify God and en­joy him for ever.’

Both the Teddy Bears and the de­vout Chris­tian thinkers at West­min­ster Abbey made a sim­i­lar con­nec­tion be­tween know­ing some­one, loving them and de­sir­ing the other party’s joy.

What that ques­tion and an­swer states is sim­ple yet pro­found be­cause it says why we are here.

Un­like any other crea­tures, we are uniquely equipped to come to know God, which leads to our loving and ador­ing him. This in turn WILL show it­self in our want­ing to bring him plea­sure.

It’s not one- way traf­fic ei­ther, for God him­self knows us, loves us and de­sires for us to en­joy a re­la­tion­ship with him.

Go­ing back to the Teddy Bears’ lyric, girl meets boy and gets to know him sounds nat­u­ral enough, but how does a man or woman get to meet God and start to know him?

This is where Chris­tian­ity is unique in that it di­rects us to Je­sus.

It is he who spoke and acted in such a way as to say, ‘ if you want to know what God is like just look at what I do and lis­ten to my words.’

In essence Je­sus was say­ing, ‘ Know me and you know God.’

We meet Je­sus, and through him God, when we hear about him or read about him, and God’s own Spirit speaks to our hearts, pricks at our con­science and chal­lenges our mind­set.

If we will sin­cerely fol­low through with this in­tro­duc­tion, then we may an­tic­i­pate ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a two- way loving re­la­tion­ship with him, where each side de­sires to be the joy of the other.

Both the Teddy Bears and the de­vout Chris­tian thinkers at West­min­ster Abbey made a sim­i­lar con­nec­tion.

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