I write this blog as Christchurch struggles to cope with yet more powerful aftershocks. The social media sites have been filled with messages of support, a simple, immediate and effective way of conveying our deep and sincere sympathy for the folk of that battered city.
I was provoked to write again after a long silence by one such twitter - which ended "my thoughts are with you all again today". While understanding the sentiment, I was struck by what an impotent expression of support this is. Thoughts alone offer no hope, no solution, and little comfort.
My experience so far has been that my Christian faith is at its best and most useful in times of crisis and emergency. To be able to send the promise of prayers is so much more powerful a statement - that into this mess we can intentionally invite the Lord God Almighty, Creator of the Universe, Lord of Lord and King of Kings - offers supreme hope, consolation and a little optimism.
So with joy I send my prayers to the distraught and drained folk of Christchurch; to a friend's friend whose son who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy; indeed to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Prayers do not arouse God to action, or bring him into a situation - as Bishop Kelvin wrote "God is not, cannot be absent." But they serve to remind us that he is available, and able, if we can but see.
Michael or Jo?
1 week ago