Tragedy in Paris

A message from Bishop Rachel

On Friday evening I was in our cathedral, which was hosting the regional BBC Children In Need event: TV cameras, a choir of children from eight different schools, Pudsey Bear and Brownies getting ready to catch teddies parachuting from the ceiling of the Cathedral. There were people of all ages. There was much joy and excitement; laughter and excited anticipation.

A few hours later I was at home hearing the news of the devastating scenes of the shootings and bombings in Paris. There were people of all ages. There was much shock and fear; tears and fearful anticipation.

There will be people in our cathedral today praying for Paris.

How quickly life can move from excitement to fear, from joy to despair, from laughter to tears, and particularly when it’s close to home.

Yet, as we began those Children in Need events on Friday evening, even before the horrific events took place in Paris, there were still people being brutally massacred across our world. There were already thousands of people living with fear and lives being devastated by the abuse and attack of others – Indeed adults and Children in Need of help, love, justice and peace. Each of them unique and named individuals, known and loved by God, seen or unseen by others in the world.

Our world was still broken before we saw the photo of a child washed up on a beach. Hatred and fear were present in human hearts before we heard the news of people being brutally murdered in a concert hall and restaurants in a country close by.

And yet, as we began those Children In Need events on Friday evening, even before the horrific events took place in Paris, the love and hope of Jesus Christ was still present across our world.

Was it only last Sunday that we pledged to remember ‘lest we forget’?

Thank God that God does not forget. Thank God that our cathedral and churches are places which embrace our laughter and our tears as they bear witness to the truth that Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection dwell together. Because of the love and hope of Jesus Christ the darkness will never have the last word. Hope and life are stronger than death. And today we continue to pray amidst people’s laughter and tears.

 

+Rachel

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