beach-630466_960_720This week seemed like a quiet week until we all awoke this morning to the news of yet more bloodshed and life lost to terror. The events in Nice once again remind us of the fragility of life and our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected, all those who have lost and all of those still waiting for news.  We also think of our French member, the Fédération Entraide Protestante, and in particular their work through the protestant churches and ecumenical partners in Nice who will be busy meeting needs and comforting those who mourn. Bless’ed are they.

Nice is yet another example of where hate and fear destroy lives.  Across the world, almost daily, attacks such as we have seen in Nice are taking place. Killing and injuring continues to be equated with power.  Power is equated with domination. Domination brings fear. Fear brings fracture. Fracture brings exclusion, inequality and destitution. We need to have different understandings of power. The power of love, the power of understanding, the power of inclusion, the power of hope. We need to work harder to bring about reconciliation and to recognise what Archbishop Desmond Tutu refers to as Ubuntu: “My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours.” We are bound up in each other. When one is hurt, we all hurt, when one loses, we all lose. In Diaconia, we see that connection, we see the reciprocal relationship between human beings, we see what we each gain if we work together with a spirt of hope, reconciliation and transformation. Practically we need to work harder to ensure inequalities are reduced, that education is available to all, that no-one goes without their fundamental rights recognised and available and that a spirit of hospitality to the other is enacted.

For the people of Nice perhaps it is hard today to see that hope but as many of us take a summer break I hope our batteries are recharged for an autumn directed by an even greater commitment to the change our diaconal work can bring.

Have a good summer,