28/09/13 | Posted by Ian Black
Actually it struck me as the complete opposite of what I want to say to the world. I don’t want to encourage more hatred, as if there isn’t enough about at the moment. Bomb explosions in churches in Pakistan, Mosques daubed in racist slogans, shopping malls shot up in Nairobi: I think there is probably more than enough hatred being sported without calling for any more.
What we need is the power and message of love. The generosity of so many people to supply foodbanks so that they can feed the hungry and struggling. Many churches are collecting for their local foodbank at their harvest celebrations around this time the year, and most of those giving will never meet those who will benefit. It is a sign of thanksgiving being turned into generous giving. Those who risked so much to get others to safety in that shopping mall. There are stories emerging of acts of great heroism as people risked their lives to help strangers to safety. The Muslims who formed a ring around a church in Egypt to protect it from anyone who might attack it. Their message was simple: if you want to attack you have to get past us first.
Most people are not dangerous, they are decent. They are not to be feared but are friends awaiting to be met. What fills them is love and a desire for peace and harmony rather than destruction and division. They are inhabited by a blessing which comes from the one who is their origin and their goal. We may make mistakes, big and small, sometimes wilfully mess things up, but we also bear the image of the one in whose image we are created. There is in this a sign of foretaste of the hope and love which brought us to birth and holds out in his love the prospect of a new birth for eternity.
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