As I write the shock and horror of the terrorist attack in Manchester is still sinking in. The news is full of arrests and the probability of a network of people being involved.
How do we respond as Christians to such an event, especially as Christians living in a place where we rarely encounter people who follow another faith? We need to remember that “Islamist” terrorism has as much to do with Islam as the “troubles” in Northern Ireland had to do with Christianity.
There’s only one thing powerful enough to overcome the hatred that leads to such attacks – Love.
Love shown by hundreds (possibly thousands) of good people of all faiths and none offering whatever they could to assist those affected by the actions of a small number. Love that builds up community between people of different beliefs, nationalities, classes and languages.
The distinctive difference we can make as Christians is to pray.
God of compassion, you hear the cries of all who are in trouble or distress; accept our prayers for those whose lives are affected by the bombing in Manchester;
We pray especially for those suddenly facing a future without a child, parent or loved one, young ones who are in deep distress, those who are injured, traumatised or awaiting news strengthen them in their hour of need, grant them perseverance and courage to face the future and be to them a firm foundation on which to build their lives; this we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen