Viewpoint from Rev Mandy Bishop 20/01/2017
Rev Mandy Bishop
Rector, Flegg Group Ormesby
also publsihed in the Yarmouth Mercury
A New Year. Looking outwards, to the future
In 2016 we witnessed much suffering in our world as we watched the migrant crisis unfold before our eyes. We also witnessed dreadful terrorism. The bombings in Brussells, stabbings in Munich, that truck attack in Nice, and a Christian Priest murdered in Normandy. Fast forward to December last year the terrorist attack on Berlin’s Christmas market and the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, it seems that there was suffering all around us
There is so much suffering that at the beginning of this New Year it is tempting for us to look inwards in despair
“When will there be peace on earth?” we might ask ourselves and God
In light of all this, and understandable concerns about our own safety, we can remind ourselves that we are a country, whose Queen is the head of the church and our Christian faith, and that we do not turn our back on the suffering and the weak and the helpless, we are a country of stamina and rich heritage and wisdom. We are a country formed in a Christian Heritage
When we, strive to do our best for each other and humanity, when we strive to adopt as our way of life the generosity of Jesus, who came not as a warrior to defeat the Romans but as a peacemaker to defeat hated by love and forgiveness; our Christian heritage in our country has formed itself in our national character and shines through. A light in the darkness
When we turn outwards and use our very best gifts and talents, skills and wisdom, to seek to be a transforming presence in this troubled world in which we live; it is then we recognise what a wonderful heritage we have, and we allow God to ease suffering by working through ourselves and others, and so bring hope and reassurance to those effected by atrocities
I pray that we will never lose sight of the fact that we are a country that seeks to transform, by our presence, compassion, and wisdom which is from our Christian heritage; Christ-like behaviour, enabling all to find comfort and hope
So may that joy and comfort be yours in this coming year
Micah 4: 1-4 The Mountain of the Lord
1 In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and peoples will stream to it.
2 Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
3 He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
4 Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken
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