Yet again my heart has been breaking at the tragic loss of innocent lives in a despicable act of terrorism in Manchester. But at the same time my heart was warmed by the kindness and generosity showed by friends and strangers in response to such an awful event. The words that have stood out in the sea of floral tributes in St Anne’s Square touched a chord with me - “Stand Together”.
In Machynlleth we know what it is to be touched by tragedy and how our community stood together to get us through that terrible time.
“Together Stronger” was the slogan that became synonymous with the Welsh team at the European Championships last year.
“We can do this together” seems to have been my mantra in our Ministry Area over these last 3 years. Uniting as one parish hasn’t been easy, we dislike change, it’s unsettling, we have to think more, even change the way we think. But change is inevitable and once process starts it can’t be stopped.
When Jesus entered the world He caused a few changes. He planted a new vision; He formed a community of disciples and taught them the ways of God and then He had to leave them. He knew full well the challenges that lay ahead for the disciples, concerned about them staying unified and He turns to God His Father in prayer (John 17). As Christians we’ve broken unity on a regular basis – from one community of faith, we became two, Catholic and Protestant. Then Protestants became Methodist and Baptist and Anglican and so on. But Jesus didn’t pray that all believers would agree – He must have known that wouldn’t happen!!
Our unity isn’t in Buildings or denominations – our unity is in Jesus Christ and that unity is vital. Jesus says, “This is how the world will know that you are my disciples: if you have love for each other”. When we come together as one body our prayers and deeds are a potent force to be reckoned with.
“Together Stronger” – perhaps we as a church should adopt that slogan because together as Christians we can go a fair way in carrying out God’s instructions.
Together stronger as Christians with God through Jesus in the power of the Spirit – we are unstoppable.
With every blessing to you and yours