“When will it end ………”

One of the privileges I have is in sharing the work of being a Deputy Chair of the Nottingham and Derby District of the Methodist Church. Together with my co-Deputy Paul and the Chair of District, Loraine, we are putting on three evenings in August looking at the subjects on the poster below.

As you can see they each take place at Langans tea rooms in Burton and EVERYONE is welcome. Please try and come along, possibly letting me know in advance if possible (email, FB, Twitter, phone or through our circuit office. If you don't let me know you can still turn up on the night.

However, notice the title I've got, “RADICAL HOSPITALITY”. As I've read through this tonight the news is breaking of the knife attack in Japan, which follows atrocities in Germany, France, Turkey, Israel, Palestine in a seemingly growing list. Is anywhere safe ? Will the world ever get it right ? Frustratingly it seems not.

I'm sitting here, on holiday in Cornwall, thinking and praying about all sorts of things, my so precious family, my Churches, praying for my Chair Loraine and so many others, and into this mix I pray for folk on the other side of the world who I'll never meet.

All I can cling to, all that sustains my prayer life, is the Christian hope that somehow, someday all will be well. I'm wise enough to know that isn't any comfort to those who've lost loved ones but the Christian story is one of a redeemed creation, restored to paradise and we have to hang onto that exercising the all embracing love, that which took our Lord Jesus to the cross for each one if us.

To take us back to the evening with the Chairs gathering, my subject of Radical Hospitality is made all the harder in the light of these atrocities. My natural inclination is to want to bomb ISIS, shoot any captured terrorists, exact revenge on those who wreak havoc, and that's not about fighting religion or extremism or anything: it's simply about a natural human reaction for revenge.
So, how should we respond ? Well, if we truly believe that somehow God will make this creation right again, then we need to accept that “vengeance is mine, says the Lord” and leave it with him. That's not to say we'll just let anything go, nor is it to fail to punish, but it's about holding fast to the notion that Jesus died for ALL people, even murderers and terrorists.
So tonight I find myself practising the radical hospitality of praying for those who commit atrocities, that they may repent and accept Jesus as Lord.
But it's hard !!

 

 

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