Pastor’s Pen 24th March 2019

Shalom. May God reveal his love for you through the reality of Jesus revealed through his Holy Spirit. 
Last week saw the tragic events unfold in Christchurch as 50 people lost their lives and 42 others were shot in two mosques as one gunman acted out his white supremacist views.
Around our world there have been other accounts of terrorism. Whilst the reason may differ the fount of it is similar.
Radicalism of any viewpoint can lead to extremism that most who hold to that point of view or a belief system would reject. This is true for the majority of Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists etc and even White Supremacists.
When we forget that we aren’t really different from anyone else but instead think we’re better, or at least more informed and hence wiser then we can begin to separate people into groups and can even make the mistake of beginning to dehumanize them. This happens more than we’d like to admit. Obviously WW2 was an example but most nations, including our own have tales of this sort of behaviour in our history.
I’ve been caught at times this week with tears reading about the events and how those who survived did yet also those who didn’t. A young lad survived but lost his 3 year old brother! How do you live with that?
What has encouraged me is the overwhelming response from our nation to love those who were victims. It is my hope that we continue to grow and ask ourselves how can radicalism fester so well in our society?
As a follower of Jesus I must involve myself more in reminding people to love God and their neighbour not simply because Christians should but humans should.
So as the events of the last few weeks continue to reverberate around the country and the world let us not forget the lessons we have learned from this time.

The only thing we should be extreme about is our love for Jesus and others.

Bless ya
Pastor Mike