Thought for the Week 09/09/2020

Thought for the Week

Last Sunday in church we read some words of Scripture from Matthew 18, where Jesus speaks of the bedrock of principles in dealing with reconciliation.  Despite the dominance of Covid19 in the media, the result of larger scale acts of human conflict have not been suppressed.  We’ve seen the community violence in the cities of the U.S., political repression and the attempt to crush the integrity of elections.  We have also become aware of domestic violence, shattered families and feuds between neighbours and neighbourhoods.  Human endeavour struggles to secure reconciliation in these situations but, sadly, so often without lasting success.

Christian faith offers real hope.  We learn of this hope through the pages of the Bible. The story of humanity begins in the Bible with the break in the relationship between people and God.  It is followed immediately by human hostility as seen in the story of Cain and Abel.  The Bible makes clear that only when our relationship is restored with God can relationships with people be healed.  Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, God makes all humanity his friends through Christ.

The antibiotic for the infection of human conflict is forgiveness not revenge.  The Bible shows how when we repent of our mistakes and sin, we turn from the past to God, His loving forgiveness awaits us. We enter a new life as forgiven people with the grace and power to forgive others.

The fruit of reconciliation is peace.  Reconciliation means peace with God, peace between men and women and between communities and nations.  Those who were enemies now found themselves members of the same family – God’s family.  The enmity that divided them is unimportant compared with the relationship with God which now unites them.  St. Paul calls upon us to be reconciled to God and to participate in the ministry of reconciliation.

I hope you are encouraged by knowing that there is a path through human conflict to reconciliation and peace.

Alastair Graham

All Saints’ Church Mullingar

Good News.  Good News. 

We warmly welcome Luke Hawkins, the new chaplain of Wilson’s Hospital School to the Parish and to Westmeath, and also his delightful wife Esther.  Luke and Esther bring an invaluable teaching experience from their time as teachers in England and also share a faith and love that is both inspiring and endearing.   We hope they will both be as happy in Westmeath as we will be having them among us.