Pray and act

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John Wesley

Much has happened in our country in these past months, and indeed, days that has caused us to cry out "Why?" and to wonder what is going on, to wonder where God is, to hold those who suffer in our prayers and to seek for answers in the midst of all the confusion and fear.

We know only too well what our Queen meant when she said that it was
"difficult to escape a very sombre national mood" in her recent birthday address.

As our televisions and newspapers continually update us on the unfolding events following acts of terrorism, violence and tragedy, (often accompanied by dramatic and graphic images), we wonder what on earth is going on?

How do we respond to this new era in which we find ourselves, one where the landscape has changed and we feel both uncertain and unsure?

We need to pray. We pray for all those caught up in the horror and devastation of it all. When our language lets us down and we do not know what to say, we still pray, allowing the silent cries of our hearts to articulate what it is that we feel. We pray for ourselves as well, that God might show us how we can best respond to what is going on around us.

Prayer alone though, is not enough. We need to re-discover our prophetic voice and speak out, we also need to be pro-active and to act.

We need to speak out against what is wrong. To speak out against profit and greed at the cost of human lives and to correct those who stir up hatred and anger by playing on people's fears by using lies, untruths, miss-information and distorted facts.

We need to stand up for justice and fairness and to be alongside those who are amongst the poorest and most vulnerable in our communities and to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.

We need to stand with and alongside all those who reject the ways of violence and extremism and to celebrate all that we have in common and to learn from and respect that which makes us different. We need to proclaim the ways of peace and unity.

At the heart of our Methodist D.N.A., these things are to be found — faith, lived out through a life of prayer, but also through social action and challenging all that is unjust and unfair, or as the prophet Micah reminds us;
"what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"

With much love and God Bless,

Keith

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