One of the great inevitabilities of life is that we all die; we just don’t know how or when. This aspect of our experience has been brought home in a number of ways.
Brian Kirkham who was a much loved and respected member of our community died suddenly recently. He was well known in the village from his time doing a milk round and for playing the organ or piano at many funerals. He was always willing to help and brought his own distinctive sense of humour to whatever he was involved with. There was a wonderful celebration of his life at Sandal Methodist church that was packed with family and friends. We continue to pray for Marion and his family and friends. It was a personal loss to our community as Brian was known by so many.
Then we had the appalling tragedy of the suicide bombing in Manchester. It was particularly shocking as it was targeted at young people and their parents. Our hearts and prayers go out to those affected. It is very depressing that this senseless act can happen here and salutary to think that in many countries it is a weekly occurrence.
As is often the case some hope comes out of the senseless violence. People of all faiths and none have come out to stand together, to support each other and say that ‘love wins’. The only effective solution to hatred is love. There can never be any justification for this type of murder but it is important to try and understand it. The uncomfortable truth is that innocent families and children are being killed all over the world, and in some instances by Western Forces, albeit unintentionally. If young people are fed the biased story of children being killed in Libya; that can breed the kind of extreme reaction we are seeing. I believe this is far more significant than say immigration.
Our prayer is that our loving God will reach out to comfort those affected by loss and change the hearts of those filled with hatred to love.
Rev Bill Henderson