Vicars Letter July / August 2017
Being a light in the darkness
As I write this, our country is reeling following a General Election that resulted in a hung parliament; terror attacks in Manchester and London, including one the day I write, perpetrated upon Muslims as they left their evening prayers; and a catastrophic fire in Kensington that has claimed many lives.
Grim and difficult times, that shake and disturb us, leaving us perplexed, saddened, and often frightened. Fear and division is of course the major aim of terrorist activity, be it perpetrated by Isis or right wing extremists.
Yet the response of the British people of diverse faiths and cultures has been one of far-reaching peaceful and tenacious resistance to fear and hopelessness. In the wake of terrorist atrocities ordinary people left their homes armed with water and sandwiches to feed and comfort the affected. People opened their homes to strangers who were stranded, or in the case of the fire, homeless. An army of ordinary taxi drivers set out to get people home to safety as soon as possible.
A few weeks ago we celebrated Pentecost, when the Church remembers the gift of the Holy Spirit, who brought the gift of speaking and understanding in different languages on that first Pentecost morning. In the face of terror and despair, the people of Manchester, London and across the country responded in a different language. The universal language of love.
And it is love that lights the world; a light that the darkness can neither understand, nor, thank God, overcome.
May His light burn brightly within you and light your path in these challenging days.
Your friend and Associate Vicar,