I guess we're all still trying to come to terms with last night's tragic events. I've found encouragement this morning looking again at Paul's words to the church in Thessalonica. I've copied out 1 Thes 4:13-18 below
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.
I'm going to preach into this on Sunday, but in the meantime can I encourage you to meditate on Paul's words and what God is saying to you through them in this situation.
At tonight's prayer meeting we'll worship, share communion and pray into all that has happened. I'd encourage everyone to come if you possibly can. I know that lots of our youngsters are planning on being there - what better place to be as we come to terms with all of this.
The Friday night LIFE youth event is going to go ahead. Having read Annie's blog on the impact LIFE had on her it's hard to see what else we could do. Pray for Liam as he speaks into Annie's death and ministers to the hundreds of young people who will be there.
As I've already said on Sunday I'll be talking about how we understand and come to terms with Annie's death. Yvonne Scott has cancelled her holiday so that she can be with children, and will be sharing the news with them and in a way they can understand. However, please can I encourage parents to talk and pray with your children before Sunday so that the come prepared. We spent some of last night doing that with our three - it is so key that we as parents take the lead in helping our children and young people through this.
I spoke to Bill, Annie's Dad, this morning. He's travelling back from France today and then he and Anne, Annie's Mum, will drive up to North Wales tomorrow. Please pray for them both, and the rest of the family, as they come to terms with the loss of their beautiful daughter.
Hope to see you tonight.