My dear Friends,
Each week in our newspapers, and on our television, we hear of terrible things happening all over our world, from the horrors of the war between Russia and Ukraine, to the situation in Afghanistan a year on from the Taliban takeover. Not to mention the seemingly weekly event of a mass shooting in America. And in our own country tales of parents murdering or letting their children be murdered, and of course the crisis of climate change, and the economic crisis.
At times like these it’s all too easy to despair and our faith can tremble, and we can find it difficult to pray and can even wonder if there is any good praying at all. People want to know where God is in all this, and question whether God exists at all.
Back in 2004, the world was shocked by a siege by terrorists at a school in Beslan in Russia, where 333 people were killed. John Humphries on the Radio 4 Today programme interviewed the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and asked him “where God was in the events of the Beslan siege”?
Rowan Williams replied: “Where was God? Where was God in the Aberfan disaster? Where was God on 9/11? The short answer is that God is where God always is, that is, with those who are trying to comfort and bring light in any such situation.”.
God was there in all those people who made choices for others and not for themselves, even if it meant losing their lives, and in the story of Beslan there were many stories of heroism and self-sacrifice – in all their actions God was there. It’s these people’s actions which were the best witness to the reality of God, far more than any intellectual argument can ever be.
For us the best witness to the reality of God lies in our lives and in the priority we give to him, in the influences we allow him to have in our attitudes and our behaviour.
My love and blessing,