Minister's Page

A message from the Manse

There are many things to remember in November. With reverence and respect, we remember the heroism, camaraderie, obedience, and costly sacrifices of those who have served and continue to serve our nation and the world. I say “the world” because I recently met a lass who has been deployed by the Army to help repair the storm damage in the Virgin Islands. I was reminded that the trained military of our country are often helping people outside of war-zones. That said, this is a month to remember: 

 

 

  • We remember those who have returned injured or disabled having lost sight or limb or mental health or more. 
  • We remember those men and women who did not return because they lost their lives in service to their country.
  • We remember those who had to receive that call or letter to tell them their son or brother, wife or father or lover has been killed. 
  • We remember the refugees and all the innocents who suffer still as a result of conflict.

Whilst we remember the courage and cost of war, we cannot celebrate war. At times violence may or perhaps must be a necessary or inevitable solution to thwart evil such as genocide like the Holocaust or tyranny. But it is not the solution Christ calls us to.

When we observe the conflicts in Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan we see a hugely mystifying complexity of issues like totalitarianism, radicalisation, greed, power-mongering, freedom-fighting and then neighbouring countries as well as superpowers posturing and meddling in the mix.

The Devil, as Jesus described, lurks and delights in such a chaos where life, and its value loses all purpose and meaning. Yet for those who are suffering abuse or oppression, often life means far far more. When I watch the Massacre and flight of the Rohingya Muslim people from Myanmar to Bangladesh through the treacherous floods and narrow paths, I wonder what they will tell their children if they survive. Will they have their own Exodus story of providence to tell?

Those saints, and people we’ve met who are the real peace-makers always seem to have a simple approach to life. Peace is a far simpler thing to engage in than conflict or war. I end with the simple prayer of St Francis.

Lord make me a channel of your peace

Where there is hatred let me sow your love

Where there is injury, pardon Lord

And where there is doubt, give me faith in you.

Easter

 


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