This week has been really depressing, hearing about Orlando shootings, and the death of Jo Cox. I can’t remember really such a terrible time for ages. The shock of this has put the normal things into context, like politics, religion and all the debate about Europe. It makes me appreciate the little things that I take for granted, and those things that make me an individual. The way I feel about my husband, how the garden grows, the things I’ve seen develop in my family, my grey hair, they are all part of what makes me unique. In accepting my calling to leave my current job and move into the church full-time, I’ve had to accept that God’s calling me, not a better version of me, just plain old me.

I think the sadness I feel about Orlando, is that the guy who murdered all those young people had a conflict about who he was that was driving him to violence. I’ve been to gay nightclubs and felt uncomfortable being in the minority, but not because I thought it was something people should be ashamed of.

The man who killed Jo Cox had an opinion that led to violence. I’ve listened to lots of people talking about Brexit, but never wanted to harm them. Violence  can never be of God, as love, peace and humility have to be trademarks of anything God is saying to you. If those aspects are not there, it’s just not of God. Believing violence can be justified was the Old Testament. Jesus brings a final peace to us, that is new and scary, but ultimately different to “an eye for an eye”.

It’s fine to feel like commiting a violent act, and to feel angry. There are lots of examples of Jesus getting angry in the bible. I’m sure Jo got angry about the issues she campaigned about, but she did something constructive to make the world better, not destructive.

The beauty of God’s love is that we can all be ourselves fully in unity in his mind’s eye. He has a catalogue of selfies taken of us, and he can see it as one big picture. The radical nature of the way christianity spread, was such that even his disciples struggled to comprehend what was asked of them. Share the gospel with Gentiles who ate unclean food? That can’t be right!

I hope Jo rests in peace, and that her family are held in God’s love at this terrible time. I am still praying for the families of those who died in Orlando. I hope to see a world one day where people who are gay or straight, rich or poor, young or old, white or black can live in harmony together. As a christian I pray that faith is never a barrier for this to happen.

Galatians 3: v26-29 “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

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