Monthly blog

From the Vicar_September 2014

Posted by on Saturday, August 30, 2014 Under: Vicar's Monthly Letters
Dear Readers,

Last month we marked the anniversary of the beginning of World War I, so for the next four years we'll be living in it's shadow. At the same time new areas of serious conflict seem to be springing up every few weeks, new ones starting without any finishing. People often tell me how worrying they find it watching the news and those living on their own seem especially prone to anxiety and despair at the international news. It's hard to watch pictures of suffering and devastation on TV without either getting hardened to it or giving way to despair.

So how to react, then?

Firstly, to feel a deep sense of gratitude for the relative peace in this country. Let's thank God again and again for the peace we enjoy, and, yes, let's ENJOY it. Along with this, remind ourselves that the people we see suffering elsewhere in the world are people just like us, with exactly the same desires for their families. Travelling fairly widely has shown me many times how much we are all alike, even if we wear different clothes and speak different languages. People are people, just like us - and they MATTER. Yes, the situations we see are normally far more complex than they are made to seem on quick news clips, so rapid judgements about who is right and who is wrong are dangerous; but virtually all people want the same things: peace, food and wellbeing for themselves and their families. So we can pray for those things for the people we see on TV, and we can pray for those trying to bring reconciliation, justice and peace; and I think we can pray against those trying to bring further division and hatred. Let's remind ourselves that the God we are speaking to is far bigger than these situations, tragic as they are, and He WANTS to bring peace. At the least, inviting God into these situations helps to bring them back into perspective for us.

And when there are special or emergency appeals for any of these situations, give what we can. The little we can give gets multiplied amazingly when others join in, just as the loaves and fishes got multiplied amazingly when Jesus joined in.

Watching or listening to the news can be a big test of our faith, but it can also be a way we really grow in faith as we watch the news with God and invite Him in to the situations we see.

With best wishes,

In : Vicar's Monthly Letters 



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