BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day
© John Denney 15 August 2007
They usually call this the silly season, as far as news is concerned, because all the senior newspaper journalists go on holiday in August and leave the juniors in charge. And sure, we've had lots of classic silly season stories - the teenager who overdosed on seven double espressos; the herd of zebra that is going to be set free in Carmarthenshire; the Australian who had to spend a week up a tree because of circling crocodiles.
But this year, there is plenty of news that's far from silly. Foot and Mouth; soldiers being killed and wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan; bomb plots being detailed in the courts; people being shot in the streets and even motorways of Britain; an outbreak of lethal E-coli in Scotland; Legionella bacteria at Hinckley Leisure Centre; and then there's the thousands of people killed and made homeless by floods in Bangladesh and China and now North Korea. No wonder there is a climate of fear everywhere. Someone's even making stab-proof school blazers; such is the concern of parents in some areas.
If we let it, fear can take us over, and we stop trusting each other, and so alarm spreads, and anxiety multiplies, and our worries get bigger. But dozens and dozens of times, the Bible gives us encouragement to oppose fear, and dispose of fear, by giving ourselves over - to love. Loving everyone. The Apostle John wrote There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear.
But giving love requires a bit of an effort. It might help you to look at love from the recipient's side. There's a Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it, because that's when I really need it.
 1 John 4:18 MSG