Thought for the week – Reverend David Jones

The bombing at the Manchester arena brought shock and devastation to a whole city and indeed the world. That a solitary suicide bomber, driven by blind ideology would carry out such an atrocity is beyond comprehension. The majority of those who died or were injured were teenagers and children, the most beautiful and loved, picked out by a twisted mind who intended to cause the greatest pain and anguish imaginable. An act of evil whose intentions were also to destabilize our way of life – it failed! Instead this darkest of experiences has instilled in the people of Manchester and indeed us all us all a greater determination that such acts of evil will never win the day. Although we have been shaken to the core by a man whose intention was to impose his extremist views in the most callous and brutal way, no such perverted ideology will ever succeed.

It’s hard to look beyond this act of evil and to try and find any sort of answer to the question ‘Why?’ We have seen the worst that man can do but have also seen the great outpourings of love and compassion. Sympathy and sorrow have mingled with feelings of outrage that such evil should have raised its head in our peace-loving country where those of all ethnic backgrounds, and religions contribute to a mix of life of which we can be proud. The people of Manchester have shown such grace and unity which brings shame and derision on those who think that they can, through hatred and intimidation change the very fabric of our society – They are on the losing side!

If tears have welled in our eyes as we have observed from afar how much more is God’s passion and love stirred. If the very heart of our nation has been broken how much more the heart of God. God is love and his children are precious they are known to him and he has promised that he will wipe away the tears and one day pain and sorrow will be no more. We mourn with those who mourn and our prayers will continue for those who remain in deep sorrow and pain. That God in his mercy will comfort the broken hearted and give peace and renewed faith to the people of Manchester as they continue to live by those God given principles of tolerance, freedom and love.

Cradle O Lord in your arms everlasting,

Those who now suffer sore anguish and pain:

Warmed may they be by true human affection;

By your love surrounded, in your care remain

Peace and love to Manchester!

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