Chaplain's thought for the week

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Chaplain's thought for the week

Revd Tom reflects on living at peace


It has been an interesting week politically. In Westminster we’ve seen some serious squabbling taking place in parliament, culminating in SNP MPs walking out in protest. Watching some of the scenes on the news I was reminded of a very rowdy classroom. In Singapore, on the other hand, there has been a massive turnaround for two men who had previously squabbled very seriously. Not so long ago such a handshake would have seemed very unlikely.

It is not my intention here to comment further on the political rights or wrongs in either case, but there is something important for us to reflect on here about disagreement and living in peace. Few people have to work out issues like this on the world stage, but every single human being must wrestle with how to live with their neighbour whom they may not always agree with. All of us need to work for peace in our own lives.

To achieve peace between people, certain things must happen: we must admit when we are wrong; we must listen to others; we recognise the humanity of others; we must strive to engage maturely by checking out our immediate reactions to perceived slights; we must be prepared to forgive. Clearly, none of these things are easy!

Most of us can do nothing about the large scale disagreements we’ve considered in the news this week, but we can work for peace between those who are right in front of us. St. Paul wrote to the Roman Christian community: ‘If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.’