Thoughts for the Month
The recent attacks in Manchester and London are a reminder of how evil can manifest itself, resulting in innocent lives being lost or changed forever. The issues surrounding such acts are as complex as the potential solutions and our responses to them. Nevertheless what has been clear is the heroic response of the emergency services and the public at large in the face of such adversity.
We have seen this again in the reaction of the local community and emergency services to the Grenfell Tower fire. What is more tragic here, is that it would seem that this was an avoidable disaster, which makes the loss of life seem all the more inexcusable and hard to contemplate.
As I paused yesterday for a minute’s silence to remember the victims, I prayed that this tragic loss of life might be the catalyst for real change. Ultimately as Christians we are judged not on how successful we are but rather how we respond to the needs of the poor.
As scripture reminds us in Matthew 25: 31—When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32—All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33—He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34—Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35—For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36—I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37—Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38—When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39—When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40—The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’. It was Nelson Mandela who said, ‘As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality exist in our world none of us can truly rest’.
So then, let us pray for an end to the evil extremism that has manifested itself so readily in our world, but also at this fragile time, for our political leaders that they will work to combat the effects of poverty in our society.
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