Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Suffer the little children - Manchester Monday

As on other occasions recently, I find myself unable to write to theme for this week's blog. In fact I have been sitting here for over an hour trying to find a word, any word that might be of comfort to those who have lost their loved ones in the atrocity of the Manchester murders on Monday evening.

There is no comfort on earth for the mother of a murdered child. No place of safety for the heart of a teenage daughter of a murdered mother. Who can give comfort to the parents or partner of a woman from Blackpool who had kindly gone to the arena to collect her friend's daughter? There are no words. There can only be love.

I have listened to the press coverage over the last two days with as much emotional detachment as I could muster. I have been to concerts in Manchester many times. I was at the same arena when 'Blondie' made their comeback . I saw the genius Michael Flatly perform there too. I go to Manchester often in celebration of The Arts, literature, music, theatre and rock concerts. For me it is a place of excitement and wonder.

Today I saw a piece today about the background of the young man who carried out this heinous and barbaric act. It is clear that his father, who a fellow mosque goer called 'a good man' in a BBC interview today, has had an overwhelming influence on the lives and theological reasoning of his sons. I cannot help but wonder how any parent would want to sacrifice his own children for the sake of any organisation that misrepresents their faith. What kind of madness is this?

In The Old Testament, God asked a father to sacrifice his own child as a test of faith - I am thinking here of Abraham and Isaac. The God of the Hebrews intervened to prevent the act.  It was only a test. The only comparison I can draw to Monday's carnage took place after the birth of Christ when the paranoid king Herod the Great slew all the male children in Bethlehem. It was an act of pure evil: An attempt to protect his own crown from a child who it was foretold would be the new king.

The deliberate murder of innocent children is pure evil. I believe that we must all recognise that evil does exist in our world and that it can only be overcome by love, forgiveness and the rule of law.  These are the three great pillars of our remarkable British Constitution. Our belief in fairness and redemption is what makes us British and our laws make us free. The madmen and women who seek to divide us will not overcome.

Our laws follow the teachings of the kindest man ever to walk the earth. His words and his teachings bore no anger, no fear and no hatred. They are for everyone. Hold each other close dear friends - with only love in your hearts.

The Beatitudes of Jesus Christ

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10

Thank you for reading.  Adele


Steve Rowland said...

It tears one up. Your outpouring is very heartfelt.