By DEREK RUMBOL
Tuesday 28 July 2020
2 THESSALONIANS 2 v 13
As I write my mind dwells on stories that have made the headlines during the past two weeks and some related issues that come to my mind:
- George Floyd in Minnesota, USA, and those involved in his murder
- Edward Colston, Bristol slave trader, whose statue was toppled
- BBC documentary 'Sitting in Limbo' – a story of a gross miscarriage of justice by the Home Office, almost leading to the repatriation of a 60 year old Jamaican who had spent all of his life in England
- A peaceful demonstration in Forest Fields Nottingham proclaiming 'Black Lives Matter'
- The perseverance by Anne, our former minister, to put right the neglect by our own church to grant membership to someone from the West Indies but having lived for years in Britain
- A conversation in the Heart Church Nottingham zoom service about engrained or subconscious racism with a reminder of the dignity of each person whatever their background
Then a story comes to mind: A Rabbi asked his two disciples: 'At what hour does the night turn into dawn?' One replied: 'The hour when the night turns into dawn is the hour when from a distance you can distinguish between a cow and a pig.' 'No' said the Rabbi. 'That is not the answer.' The second disciple replied: 'It is the hour when from a distance you can distinguish between a fig tree and a date palm.' 'No, that is not the right answer either' replied the Rabbi. 'The hour when night turns to dawn is when one looks at another person's face and can see one's brother or sister. Until then it is still dark.'
2 Thessalonians 2:13 reminds us: "We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, loved by the Lord." We are all chosen and loved by God.
You are his dearly loved child, but so is everyone else.
Marty Haugen wrote this song (see youtube}:
Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live
A place where saints and children tell how hearts learn to forgive
Built of hopes and dreams and visions, rock of faith and vault of grace
Here the love of Christ shall heal divisions
All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.
Let us build a house where prophets speak and words are strong and true
Where all God's children dare to seek to dream God's reign anew
Here the cross shall stand as witness and as a symbol of God's grace
Here as one we claim the faith of Jesus
All are welcome …..
Let us build a house where all are named, their songs and visions heard
And loved and treasured, taught and claimed as word within the Word.
Built of tears and cries and laughter, prayers of faith and songs of grace
Let this house proclaim from floor to rafter
ALL ARE WELCOME, ALL ARE WELCOME, ALL ARE WELCOME
IN THIS PLACE.
Do we believe it?