It has been a weekend of conflict.
Now, listen carefully, I’m not after your sympathy, and I’m not complaining. Looking back, thinking ‘is there a theme to what I’ve had the privilege to be part of’ this weekend, and the obvious, though surprising one, is conflict.
In her reflection at Space Academy this morning, Commander Hannah reminded us that our purpose, our ‘mission,’ is love.
This weekend, we’ve prepared to engage in conflict. To love.
Are you confused? You’ll have to read on.
In the afternoon on Sunday a few churches this end of Blackpool happily supported Dick Cartmell, who had earned the opportunity for us to share hymns and stories on the Pier. If you remember, I mentioned that Mike Taylor had done the publicity. The Pier people weren’t sure what they had let themselves in for, so were a little nervous. However, as we completed our programme, they wanted more!
In the evening we felt it was time for a healing service. Nobody understands why and where God heals, but it is part of what we are told explicitly to do. So, aware that there are issues and feelings and undetermined consequences, we allowed ourselves to come together and see what would happen.
And people were healed, and some were not.
And some went away and prayed following the model used, and were healed. And some will find themselves doing so in the days (and months) to come.
But then it was equally about going and praying for healing, as well as coming and being prayed for.
‘I came to bring a sword,’ said Jesus. Conflict.
But it is a conflict to share love, to set others free, to challenge where challenge is needed, to speak order into chaos.
He, whose name kind of means conflict, is not, and will not, be pleased.