St. Albion Parish News, May 5, 2003

With the memory of Easter still fresh in our minds, the cries of “Allelulia” fading on the air, it grieves me to say that I still hear around the parish odd voices of doubt and disbelief.
“It’s all very well, Vicar,” they say, “but where are those ‘weapons of mass destruction’ that you told us Satan was preparing to unleash?”
Well, for goodness sake, there’s no pleasing some people, is there?
“Show us the weapons,” they cry, “and we will believe!”
Doesn’t that ring a few bells from scripture?
And what was the reply? For those of you with short memories, let me remind you! The reply came loud and clear, echoing down the ages, “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed!”.
You see, it’s that simple! I don’t want to get too heavy and theological here, but this is an important point which all the doubters have really got to start taking on board!
Just because you can’t see something, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.
Isn’t that the whole basis of our faith?
I remember when we were all starting out on our journey, a lot of people used to ask, “What is this Third Way that you keep telling us about, Vicar? We can’t see it.”
But, hey, don’t those people look silly now, when everyone now realises that it was there all along!
If people hadn’t been so visually impaired (no offence to Mr Blunkett!), they would have recognised it right from the start, instead of acting like a lot of Doubting Thomases!
And what about all the wonderful improvements we’ve been making in the parish -- to our schools and hospitals?
People say that they can’t see these either. But we all know they exist, and that we have every right to be proud of them!
And sometimes the opposite is true, isn’t it? People see things which aren’t there, like all this crime that’s supposed to be on the streets, that we know perfectly well doesn’t really exist.
So where does that leave us? I’ll tell you where. We all have to believe that those weapons of mass destruction exist just as we have to “believe” all the other articles of our faith.
In fact, I’m going to suggest that at our family worship this week we say a slightly amended version of the Creed, to come just before we give each other the sign of war:
“We believe in the Weapons of Mass Destruction, Visible or Invisible...” and then continue as usual.
So, let’s have an end to all this negative in-putting, shall we? Let the Good News go out loud and clear this Eastertide.
“Our enemy Satan is o’erthrown,” (or overthrown, as we say now!)
There has been a regime change in Hell! Rejoice! Rejoice! (The Little Book of Gloats).
Yours in victory,