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St Johns Southgate

09 Jul 2015

Love locked

Over the last few years, around 40,000 Melburnians and tourists took part in the modern day ritual of fastening padlocks to the Southbank footbridge then throwing the keys into the Yarra River below.

The act is said to symbolise the undying love and commitment shared between two people. It’s no surprise then,  that the decision by the City of Melbourne to remove the love locks from the bridge caused a bit of a stir.

In last month’s edition of Southbank Local News it was reported that a Facebook page was being established to call for the saving and returning of the love locks.

While some might think of the fastening of a love lock as trivial sentimentality, for others there is a real sense of meaning attached to it, and so a genuine sadness is being felt.

But while the love locks might have been taken away, it doesn’t mean that the love between two people has to disappear.

The locks themselves would have eventually faded and rusted and fallen apart, but what they represented can live on. In other circumstances, many a love lock may have out lived the love of the lovers!

And yet there is one kind of love that never rusts, fades or dies – the love of God!

In the tradition of the sacramental Christian churches, the act of baptism is like Jesus locking himself to us in a loving embrace and throwing away the key. Thankfully, baptism is an outward sign of love that can’t be taken away.

Even though the water of one’s christening may have dried many decades ago, the unconditional love of God that it expresses remains. Even if you have forgotten about Jesus, he hasn’t forgotten about you.

You remain locked in God’s love through the tangible signs, such as baptism, that Jesus has left his church. Perhaps the lock of God’s love appears to have vanished from your life, but the key to reclaim it, and unlock the freedom of it, remains waiting for you at the bottom of baptism’s river.   

Pastor Tom

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