Around 30 years ago I went to San Francisco on business. I was in my early 20s, but it was the first time I had ever been on an aeroplane.
It wasn’t a happy travelling experience – on the way out I had to clear Immigration in Los Angeles and nearly missed my connecting flight. On the way back, we were accompanied by a storm half way across the US and the plane was lit up by lightning too many times for comfort. In some ways I’m surprised I ever got back in a plane.
The work I had to do was also pretty dull, but there was some sightseeing at the end of the trip. This included a free firework display on the bay overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. It was spectacular, but I have no idea now what the people were celebrating. Of course, on and around November 5th we celebrate the failed plot to blow up Parliament and that our democracy survived.
After every one of the recent terrorist attacks, at home and abroad, leaders have rightly said that we will not give in to terrorists and their “bully boy tactics”. The right way to express disagreement is via the ballot box and through local, district and national government.
On one occasion, two of Jesus’ disciples asked him if they should call down fire from heaven to consume a village which did not receive Jesus well. Jesus rebuked them and told them that fire was no way to win people over. Rather, they were to tell people the Good News of God’s love for them.
I hope you enjoy the fireworks this year. Perhaps as we watch the fireworks we can celebrate living in a society where most people acknowledge that blowing people and buildings apart is not the right way to live. May we also celebrate that God does not send down fire from heaven, but invites us into his Kingdom through love.
As always, you are welcome at St. Peter’s for any of our services – or any of our local church services – as we celebrate God’s love for us all.
With my continuing prayers,
Read this article in the Yaxley Gazette.