Sunday, 4 June 2017

Pentecost 2017

On this bright morning, with the churchyard grass dotted with cinquefoil,
the old church bells missing one, ringing five, but still lovely to hear,
ringing in Pentecost, the old Whit Sunday, these days more red than white,
I wait awhile outside the door, just to taste again the freshness of late Spring
or early Summer, just to enjoy the brightness that is still there in the green.
But today I am robed in red, and not only for the Spirit; again, there is news of death,
of innocent blood spilled, of indiscriminate damage done in the name of Allah.
Or not, certainly not. Only the old false gods demanded libation of human blood.
We stand in silence, and a prayer is said. “Come down, O Love divine,” we sing.
The God who is love, and who chooses never to be other than love
is not served by those whose minds and faces are twisted by hate, nor by those
who have moulded them so, who manipulated their minds, and destroyed their souls.
But nor will he be served if we answer hate with hate. We may feel safer
if we let that happen, we may leach away some of the anger from within us
(or would we be only feeding it?), but love divine demands of us
the risk of human love, love that speaks all languages, that crosses every boundary,
that holds nothing back. “#Turn to love” said the heart in the poster, brown taped
onto London Bridge. And we must: for if we hate, the men with the knives will have won.
If we go on loving, daring to love, insisting on it, then they can never win,
not on this bright morning, not ever. So thy will be done, amen, thou Love divine.

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