A very warm welcome to this service, wherever you are worshipping this morning across the Langtree Team ministry area. May the joy and peace of the risen Christ be yours.
Our thoughts and prayers this week remain with the Christian community of Sri Lanka, after last Sunday’s hideous and obscene attacks on churches and hotels. Christians are caught in the crossfire worldwide. They are imprisoned in North Korea, are driven underground by the Chinese authorities, and are victims of blasphemy laws in Pakistan. In India they are attacked by ultra-nationalists. In 73 countries they face peril. Last Sunday Christians were chosen as the softest possible targets, on the holiest day of the year. British tourists were among the dead.
May God give us the strength to not respond in kind, and to pray that the churches in Sri Lanka will know the power of the resurrection, where love proves stronger than death, and the most brutal of endings is yet still not enough to overcome the power of the living God.
If you would like to know more about the persecuted church around the world, and to understand something of the precious and fragile nature of the freedom we in this country currently enjoy, can I recommend to you the work of the Barnabas Fund? www.barnabasfund.org
The director, Patrick Sookhedo, has been a lone voice for many years, drawing the attention of the Western Church to the sufferings of fellow Christians in Africa, Asia, and the middle east.
Your Rector, and servant for Christ’s sake
Revd Canon Kevin Davies