It happened again yesterday. “You’re a pastor. What do you make of what’s happening in the world?” It was the hairdresser who asked. I think the experience of COVID, recent climate catastrophes, including the northern New South Wales and Queensland floods, and now the invasion in Ukraine prompted the question. It’s a question often put to me. As a person holding a position of faith, maybe people want to know in the face of human challenges where that faith goes.
And I gave the answer I normally give: “I don’t think the world now is any worse. Just different.” Whilst to be in Mariupol or Kyev might feel like you are living the horror of the world’s last days, there are also images coming out of Ukraine’s eastern border of the kindest of humanity; families giving refuge under their own rooves to complete strangers, people driving across whole countries to bring others to safety, endless donations of much-needed winter clothes and warmth.
The world is tired. It's been a hard couple of years with added uncertainties and anxieties. But I still believe in the best of people and life. Indeed, I repeat what I key-stroked here in lockdown nearly two years ago:
We are befriended by the Universe; life and circumstance are for us, not against us.
We can trust that all will be well.
We need not fear.
We are never alone; God is with us.
My prayers continue for all the community of Westminster.
Rev Phil Hoffmann