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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

5 May 2015: David Bee, St Mary's Buriton

God and the Mediterranean

No-one can fail to be moved by the pictures and stories of men women and children dying in the Mediterranean as they attempt to get themselves a life worth living. Wicked human traffickers make a fortune out of the suffering and deaths of others. That beautiful sea, the site of so many carefree holidays, has become a graveyard.

Where is God in all this? Some religions would say that everything that happens is His will, whether that is good or bad. This is not the Christian response. We believe that Jesus understands human suffering because he allowed himself to suffer and die on a cross for all humankind. God does not cause human suffering, he suffers alongside those who are in need. Often, and patently so in this case, the cause of suffering is human wickedness. It is never a deliberate act of God. Jesus brought healing and comfort to all those who were in need, irrespective of their religion, their importance, their respectability, their gender, or their race. All people are made in God's image. He loves all people.

So how do we respond to that love?

There is a prayer attributed to St. Theresa of Avila which includes "Lord, you have no hands on earth but ours, no feet but ours. Ours are the eyes with which you look out on the world, ours are the hands with which you bless the world now." What a world it would be if more and more people were not so motivated by self-interest and instead committed to relieving the distress of others who are in need. We cannot stand back and ignore this tragic loss of life in the Mediterranean, we must do all we can to ensure that search and rescue missions are adequate for the task.

Join with other Christians in The Square this evening (Wednesday 6 May) at 7:00 pm as we pray for issues involved in the General Election

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