This month is the one year anniversary of the GrenfellTower disaster. At the time LCM missionaries in the area were among the first to respond to the news, helping to distribute food and clothes, sitting and talking with those whose lives had been shattered.
Since then we have placed two missionaries in the immediate area, working from churches we had already been in conversation with regarding future placements. Andrew Barnett, a new recruit to LCM, is now with Latimer church and Andrew Kwapong with St Helen’s church where today’s memorial service was held. They are very conscious of how deeply the church leaders are still affected by this.
Live long enough and we will all experience grief; and if our loss is of a particularly close family member or friend, then the sort of grief that will never go away. But this grief is particularly brutal and has given rise not just to tears but to anger and bewilderment.
This is the world in which we minister, coming alongside people in their pain, in the name of the Lord Jesus who was made flesh and born into our world, suffering the consequences of deprivation and injustice. We mourn with those who mourn, as Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus whom he loved. We minister the comfort and hope of the Lord, who assures us that he will come again to wipe every tear from our eyes.
Eventually the surviving residents of the Grenfell Tower will all be rehoused, but their homes will never feel the same. A home is an empty place when someone is missing.
But Jesus assures us that at the end none will be missing
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all;
no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
'Of all that you gave me, not one has been lost.
May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace as we trust in him, so that in ministering to others we may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.