The Rector Writes

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The Rector writes...............June 2017

 

Rachel Weeps

This week another seemingly anonymous young man delivered death in a bag to the people of Manchester.  Many have died and many are seriously injured, including children.  We pray for all the victims, their families and all affected by this diabolical act.  Terrorism touches many lives, across the globe, from Kenya to Pakistan and Manchester to Madrid.  The purpose of terrorism is to destabilise and intimidate people and nations by targeting the innocent and vulnerable, to divide communities and fan the flames of hatred.  The prophet Jeremiah declares that’ ‘Rachel is weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because her children are no more’.  It is a cry that can be heard in the mouths of mothers from Manchester to Aleppo to Chibok.

After the Easter Resurrection, his mission on earth complete, Jesus departs from his disciples.  He has prepared them for this time, promised that they will not be abandoned and that he will send them the Holy Spirit.  Whilst it may seem like we are alone in this period following his departure, when Christians are called to trust in God, Jesus actually Ascends to go further and deeper into the heart of God.  It is from this place that he urges us to become active in the world in sharing God’s love and building God’s kingdom.

In Manchester and what I witnessed myself some years ago in London, is that in the face of evil and darkness, the community responds in light and in love.  People were offering support and comfort to the shocked and injured and were willing to stand alongside and bear some of the pain of the ‘Rachels’ of the world.  In my encounter I realised that terrorism can never triumph when complete strangers risk serious injury to assist those in need, and emerge from scenes of death and destruction embracing one another in love.  For Christians, this selfless love is a foretaste of God’s kingdom and shows us that love really can be stronger than death.  So as we hear the cry of Rachel we offer our prayers and our love to the people of Manchester.  We are with you - Always.