I am angry and distressed by these events, I feel personally
affronted, this is our home, and our city which has been attacked. I
am concerned for all of you who are traveling and working in London
and the fear and worry that you may be feeling. I was at Kings cross
last night, and the immediacy of those fatalities struck me.
However I am struck that these things are not exceptional, we have
seen them on the news, but now they are our own experience, they are
the harsh reality of this world, brought home.
This is the world of which in Noah’s story ‘God was grieved because
violence had spread everywhere’. But this is the world that God loved
so much that he gave his only son.
We should be shocked hurt and angry, but we should not be surprised,
and in the midst of this maelstrom the truth of the hope of the
Gospel becomes precious. Jesus is constant in this, he is not
surprised, or distracted by this, the cross was the thing which took
on this evil and injustice and brought the possibility of redemption.
Evil is not defeated by violence, but is subverted by love.
On a personal level please take time to seek the peace that trusting
your heavenly father brings. At times like this your faith is more
precious than anything in this world. Let it be seen in your quiet
strength and hope.
One other thing, these events raise the question of the danger of
religion, and people will be reminded of Northern Ireland, the
crusades, the inquisition… It is right that christianity, just like
other religions, philosophy and science and secular humanism is
vulnerable to being hijacked by evil people for their own evil ends,
just as Islam has been hyjacked here. But when there are forgeries it
is even more important to understand what is genuine. What is
critical then is to understand the nature of true christianity – to
live the life of Jesus in his call to love enemies, turn the other
cheek, and take suffering head on in the confidence that God is God,
and he will see right done.