In all the upheaval and disturbance of the last few months, with terror attacks and an uncertain election result, I have been wondering at times, ‘where is God in all this?’
The truth is that we can see the work of the Holy Spirit all around us, and perhaps most especially at times of great suffering. At the center of our faith is the cross, a symbol of human suffering and the ultimate symbol of love and hope.
We saw some glimpses of the presence of God in the overwhelming reaction to the terrorist attacks from ordinary people’s heroism and acts of love – a beautiful image that will stay with me was the policeman dancing in a circle with children at the One Love Manchester concert. A sign that we will not let the terrorists win, that love does indeed conquer all and drive out all fear.
Following the terrorist attack at London Bridge, Andrew Nunn, the Dean of Southwark Cathedral (which is a stone’s throw away and had to be closed for a week) wrote this moving prayer which encapsulates this Christian hope of Christ’s promise to be with us always:
Loving God, when terror came to our doorstep and stalked our streets you were there with us in the fear and the agony. Remain with us and with all those caught up in the horror of these events the injured and distressed those who died and all who seek your peace which passes understanding. Amen.
Dean Andrew said in a sermon preached when the Cathedral reopened on Trinity Sunday: ‘He is always with us, always, at the altar, in the world, walking through the dangerous places and showing his scarred self to a scarred world and making it, ultimately, beautiful.’
We must join with him and hold out this hope to our world, our community, our hearts.
Rev’d Bryony Taylor (Curate)