Like all of you I have been shaken by the events of the past 24 hours.
Last night I felt compelled to spend time at my Loaves & Fishes free food van meal service adjacent to Martin Place in the inner city. I felt those turning up for a free meal in the middle of all that was going on needed my support and encouragement. Afterwards I wandered through Martin Place to catch the mood there.
For me the mood is best reflected in the face of that terrified hostage running into the arms of the policeman.
It is an image I expect most of us will never forget.
I just want to say in my own humble way fear and terror does not drive the world, love does. I know that sounds trite but in the midst of all that went on yesterday. However, yesterday, I had to say goodbye to a lovely young boy whose love literally changed the world. The pain on the faces of the young people at this service will also remain etched in my heart. This young boy, through countless good deeds, changed forever the lives of his young friends. A few days earlier I had conducted a funeral service for another young boy who spent his last days helping trafficked and abandoned children on the rubbish dumps of Cambodia. He too changed countless lives for the better.
Terror, brutality, killing, triumphantalism has no place in religion. Religion is pro life not pro violence. Humble not aggressive.
We need to remember this at this time. There are malevolent forces in society that will use incidences such as yesterday to foster division and hatred, this is on both “sides”. Let them pour their bile on each other. Let us remember the millions of people like those two lovely young boys who dreamt of love and acceptance and then proceeded to work for it.
Today, say a prayer for those victims, perhaps light a candle for them but remember in the battle between love and hatred, love always just wins.
At 11am tomorrow, in my Church at 180 Liverpool Road, Ashfield as part of our weekly Communion Service, you are invited to participate in a Memorial Service for yesterday’s victims.