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Hatred - Again

Manchester. Yet another terrorist 'incident'. Tragic, on all counts. I cannot begin to understand the mentality of someone who could even contemplate such an act. It is far too 'alien' a concept for me to begin to grasp it, let alone understand why someone would think that killing 22 people and maiming 59 others, to say nothing of the countless invisible mental 'injuries' it will have caused, was a good idea.

To me, all life is precious. In Genesis it says:

So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27

What that means is that each of us, somewhere, somehow, bears a 'family resemblance' to God... The God who is love itself. Those words tell me that each person is, in some sense, almost a 'theophany' or appearance of God... We can, if we look closely enough, see the 'imprint' of the divine in each being. Sometimes, it is very well hidden; sometimes it is obvious - the latter are often thought of as 'saints'. But what it means to me, is that each life is precious, because of that image which is part of each and every person's being. Whether I like it or not, my enemies are also 'made in the image of God'.

Angels, Part 2

Today I am feeling very sad. Our Iranian friends are being split up and moved to another town. Ireallydon't understand why.

They have fast become much-loved members of our fellowship of faith. Many tears were shed at our 7:00pm service last night when it was announced. It seems so cruel. They have been through so much, and were just becoming ‘settled’, and now they’re being uprooted again.

In another context we were reminded last night of the first two verses of Hebrews chapter 13:

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

That led me to think about one of my favourite passages of scripture - Genesis 18, when Abraham and Sarah are visited by three 'men' - who turn out to be angels (at the very least), and quite possibly an appearance of the three members of the Godhead...

The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.

Angels, Part 1

I have ‘sat on’ this post for a few weeks, unable to decide whether or not to post it. Obviously, I have decided now...

The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 25-37) says:

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, soheasked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

Copyright Phil Hendry, 2016