Living God's Love Values - Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage
Living God's Love Values - Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage

Peace be with you

??We sometimes look back on the twentieth century as a time of unparalleled human progress. It is certainly true that many scientific advancements and amazing discoveries were made. Sadly, even the most cursory knowledge of the First World War, which broke out one hundred years ago this August, demonstrates that many of those discoveries were used to kill people more effectively. ??The Great War was the first truly mechanised war. ?It was the first war where the machine gun was used with devastating effect. ?It was the first war where nerve gas was widely deployed, with terrible consequences. It was the first war where tanks were sent into action. ?It was the first war in which airplanes played a significant role, not simply for reconnaissance and for dropping small bombs out of the plane by hand.??So much for the myth of human progress.??It is against this background that we read words of Easter hope from the New Testament: On the evening … the doors being shut where the disciples were, because they were afraid, the risen Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ?Peace be with you.???The message of Easter does not shy away from our natural human inclination to be afraid ? and there is certainly much fear in our world today. Think of the conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan and, of course, in the Ukraine. Nearer at home it is encouraging that the economy appears to be improving, but record numbers of people are still going to food banks because they don?t know how to feed their families. This, too, is real fear.??In the midst of our fear, the risen Jesus meets us and says ?Peace be with you?. He is the one who has endured suffering and death and his resurrection is the promise that there is nothing in the whole of creation which can separate us from God?s love and protection.??But God?s peace is more than a warm feeling inside that everything is going to be alright in the end. It is an invitation to be peace-makers in a world that is often paralysed by fear. And if we are to do that then we need to pray for the grace to live out God?s truth, justice and love in our families and communities and in our nation. ??So my prayer this Easter is the one spoken by the risen Jesus himself: Peace be with you…??+Alan St Albans?April 2014

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