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Mike's Manse Message

October 2019
Dear friends

As many of you know I've been particularly struck by the statue of the knife angel outside Derby Cathedral, having seen it now in daylight and also in the evening when it was lit up. Potentially the thing that has struck me the most is the face of the angel; full of sorrow and sadness at the loss of life and at the continued silence, intolerance and prejudice within the world around us. Sadly this is sometimes reflected in our own community amongst friends and relations, neighbours and strangers.

Brexit has brought the worst out in this country, and whether you are a leaver or a remainer surely you must long as I do for the day when healing will come, as it surely must. Beyond Brexit the selfishness of humanity still causes feuding between people; the greed of humanity causes war and suffering; the apathy of humanity leaves refugees to die in refrigerated trucks. The sorrowful and regretful face of the angel may speak particularly of knife crime, but surely our God is also sorrowful as he looks at a broken world.

A world he created and a world he loved enough to leave the glory of Heaven for; a world for which he was prepared to lay aside his divinity and become human and ultimately a world he was prepared to die for. And it would be a cause for sorrow if the story was to end there, but thankfully it doesn't. I believe in a joyful God as depicted in the parable of the prodigal son, when the father runs rejoicing to welcome his son home. I believe in a God who has reached out and through the resurrection of Jesus has shown that his is the victory, and his is the privilege of welcoming home all those who have turned away from sin and evil and who earnestly seek his kingdom. I'm mindful of John 3:16-17 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him"

I think that everyone who returns to God and truly desires to follow and worship him receives the smile of God.

Every blessing

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