November Letter from Revd. Alan Perry

Posted on by Tania Birtwistle

“Sorry seems to be the Hardest Word”. Or is it?


I wonder if  you agree with Bernie Taupin’s words, who wrote the lyrics to this song which became a hit for Elton John in 1976 and Blue in 2003?


I think an equal contender for the prize might be the words “thank you”. 


Well, the word sorry does seem to have been in short supply recently.  It seems in public life that it is a difficult word to say and on each side of the Atlantic politicians have not set a good example when it seems self evident that an apology would seem, to any decent person, appropriate and a way to bring the matter to an end.


Human relationships whether in the work place, family, media or on the international stage would be healed much more quickly if we all found it easier to say this one word.


Saying ‘thank you’ though can be equally challenging.  Jesus himself experienced a lack of gratitude when in Luke 17, verses 11-19 he healed 10 lepers, but only one felt it important to praise God and say ‘thank you’ for being healed.  This was the person that Jesus praised for his faith.


In November we are minded to share in red letter days that call on us to be thankful for a number of different occasions.


On November 1 it is all Saints Day when we give thanks to God for all the women and men down the ages who have devoted their lives to following Christ, sometimes in spite of their strange personalities.  On this day we remember that as a Christian we can never be alone because the Communion of Saints is forever surrounding us.


On Remembrance Sunday we commemorate all those who have given their lives for our freedom in armed conflicts since and including The Great War.  I think It is also a time for us to say sorry as a society, for the times when we have taken our freedom and peace for granted and neglected service men and women who have needed our support due to PTSD and often living with life changing injuries.


Well, the jury is out. I will leave the answer to you, the reader.  However, regardless whether the answer is ‘sorry’ or ‘thank you’ we could all attempt to say each word more, and that can only be good for all of us who make up the Body of Christ.


Rev Alan Perry