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Chads News - 16th May 2024

Dear Church family,
I hope you are well and having a good week. Last weekend the world was lit up with two very different forms of light show. The first was the extraordinary Northern lights on Fri-day night (we were asleep – gutted!) and the second the Eurovision song contest on Sat-urday (we were asleep – relieved!).

I’ve been reflecting on these two very different types of colourful extravaganzas. One cre-ated by God as a beautiful display of his creation, the second created by humans and marred by controversy and witchcraft. I used to love Eurovision, but this year I had no de-sire to watch it and from what I’ve heard, I’m relieved that I didn’t. In general I don’t like being reactionary or judgemental about cultural occasions, but there were two aspects of Eurovision which particularly saddened me, controversy and cursing.
Eurovision used to be a fun, glitzy, colourful, creative event, a bit of fun a lot of cultural stereotypes maybe and a range of talent on show. But all I heard about this year was controversy, conflict, cultural clash, the reporting of the event seemed preoccupied with finding as much division and anger as possible. The second thing I’ve heard about is the blatant evil, witchcraft and cursing from one of the songs.

As I said, it is not my desire to be reactionary and judgemental and moan about secular culture. I believe we battle darkness through prayer and living different from the world around us, we shine the light brighter. So how do we do that in this instance?

First we respond to controversy with peace. Our world loves the drama of emphasising division and distrust (I realise it could be said I’m doing that here) we can respond by looking for words that build up and not pull down. Seeking to encourage reconciliation and not division, seeking to listen not judge.
Secondly, we overcome cursing with blessing. Jesus is very clear about this in Luke 6v28. One of our core values in St Chads is ‘loving community’, seven days a week we seek to be a blessing in our homes, workplaces, schools and community. That culmi-nates in the final words of our Sunday services, when we speak out God’s blessing, but also in every cup of tea served in Guywood, every kind word of encouragement shared at work, every time we pray for those in need.

So my friends, let’s be people of light. When light shines in the darkness it is beautiful and transforms the world around us.

with love,

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