Manchester Arena Attrocitities

Terry Durose, MCM Director

I’m working today hampered by a lingering sick headache and trying, not entirely successfully, to hold back tears.  Like many this morning I woke to the news that there had been a suspected terrorist attack on the Manchester Arena. Twenty two people lost their lives and dozens more have been injured. It’s impossible to estimate how many have been emotionally traumatised by this despicable, cowardly act.

 

The fact that the target was a pop concert, and one that would have been largely attended by young girls takes our disbelief and horror to a new level.  One wonders at what might have motivated such an atrocity. What cause could have possibly been furthered by such violence? What perceived benefit could there be, that might be worth killing children for or indeed dying for?

This may be incomprehensible to us but we should not be blind to a simple truth. These murders made perfect sense to the person or people that carried them out. Their thinking has been warped by a Satanic deception that makes it  seem honourable to them to kill children and destroy lives.

Many of us today are wondering what we can do to help. As Christians we have weapons of righteousness that must be brought to bear. We must continue to love those who consider themselves to be our enemies. We must pray. We must persevere in our duty to proclaim the Gospel.  Only then can we expect those whose understanding is shrouded in evil darkness  to see the one true light.

MCM’s Clear Message

Terry Durose, Director, MCM

It often astounds me how much effort we have to put into keeping people out of church.  As I am writing this piece two workmen are hard at work servicing the shutters that protect our church’s windows and doors.  The shutters may not be the prettiest things on earth but they are very necessary if we plan to keep our building safe.

Sadly, there may be barriers that stop people coming into church when we want them to attend.  People feel nervous when they first walk through the doors of a church and need to feel welcome.  A church member’s frowning face or a church full of cliques can be harder to get over than a barbed wire fence!

I have few anxieties on that front for my own church. On the whole we seem to be a friendly bunch who go out of our way to make people feel at home.  My concern is about getting believers out of church and into the community.

For the last ten years, MCM has been building its work on three missional concepts, Incarnation, Compassion, and Proclamation.  Incarnation is love entering the world of the people we want to reach.  Compassion is love responding to the unmet needs we encounter and Proclamation is love declaring the unsearchable riches of Christ.

Putting any of these concepts into practices requires a measure of courage, but in my experience Incarnation seems to be the hardest of the three.  To be intentionally and missionaly present amongst your friends, neighbours, workmates and even family requires a level of vulnerability that most of us would find uncomfortable.

And yet Jesus sends his followers out as lambs amongst wolves.  The clear message is that to be “sent out” by Jesus means that we will be vulnerable.

By the time the workmen have finished servicing the church shutters, I will feel that the church building is once again safe. That’s good. Church should be a safe place, at least in some respects.

However, church should not be a fortress where believers are barricaded in to keep them safe from the world.  We are a sent people.

by Terry Durose