Our hearts and prayers
Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Afghanistan as they face fear, uncertainty and for many the loss of possessions and home. Our hearts also go out to those of our own communities who have lost loved-ones in Afghanistan, or otherwise suffer, due to the past 20 years.
We stand alongside those who are experiencing loss and trauma, with families in our town who remember what it is to be bombed out of their own homes. As Harlow was built for the families of those displaced or left in squalid housing after the Second World War so we look forward to helping those in need now, fleeing in fear.
Jesus the refugee
Many Bible stories are of those fleeing persecution or in need of both physical or spiritual rehoming, and we are mindful of the fact that Jesus himself, in infancy, was a refugee. We therefore look forward to being part of the answer to the prayers of the Afghan people.
In these times when so much that we rely on seems under threat: our physical health, our mental health, our environment, and world peace, we reaffirm our trust in God.
A simplistic answer is to speak in terms of good versus evil – to see this as a grand cosmic battle.
But one of the things Ephesians 6:10-20 does is break the link between battles in this world (“our struggle is not against flesh and blood”) and spiritual ones.
These were won on the day of Resurrection and worked out as we “stand”, which we are able to do – hard though it can be - with the gift of God’s armour.
This is why only Christian faith is the way of peace. Our battle is not with people. All so-called “religions” are political (contra Tony Blair; “religion”, as we use the term is a modern idea). Only the way of Christ is ultimately rooted in the love which is eternal, not force or power.
We give thanks that beyond life as we know it there is an eternal kingdom, for which we pray, as Jesus taught us: “Thy kingdom come”. The victory is won. He is Lord. Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus.
May you know God’s peace. Love, Martin