Queen's counsel III

November 2001

I am sure that the 11th September will stand out for many as a potential turning point in the world’s development.  But consider for a moment, what must have been in the terrorist’s minds as they prepared to take out the economic, strategic and possibly also the leadership of the United States.  What led them and their backers to take such brutal action ?  I was working with colleagues in Detroit when the news came through – first, there was disbelief followed by numbness and then by scarcely contained anger.  Now, there is reconciliation to be sought and more people to hold in our prayers than we may find usual.

On 11th November, we may all pause to remember other turning points when those who had fought so bravely for freedom during the first and second World Wars could, at last, see opportunities to move forward.  New beginnings had to be made then and life, sometimes without colleagues, friends or family, had to be rebuilt on all sides.  Some we remember with gratitude for standing up for what seemed right and we owe them our continuing efforts to sustain peace on earth however difficult that may be.

The Queen’s Foundation is a place of learning which continually seeks to find ways of including others.  In its worship, it uses a variety of forms and tries always to be sensitive to different approaches using language that does not threaten or exclude.  In its study, it tries to be clear in the variety of perspectives that there are and for encouraging respect for different viewpoints.  For example, we are studying the Old Testament this term in the knowledge that it links three of the great world faiths, Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

It is in the nature of faith to believe that there is a creative, loving and sustaining God throughout the universe but to whom we may also have to be accountable.  It is worth contemplating the countless names, and none, that have been assigned to God.  Some of the early Jews felt that “his” name was too sacred to be uttered and used the abbreviated form YHWH.  Their insistence through Moses to find out his name resulted in the enigmatic “I AM WHO I AM” which is echoed in the “I AM” sayings of Jesus recorded in the Gospels and in the concept of the Logos, the word of God active in history.

Moslems often refer to the hundred names of God and represent his multi-facetted appeal through them.  Again, there is a wide range of attributes contained within the list but it is long enough to consider that it extends out to every possibility.  Some, (eg. Ya Muhyee – O Bringer to Life) will bring comfort; others (eg. Ya Khabeer – O He who Knows) may make us think more deeply about our actions.

So, as we pray for ourselves and for others, we ask that they may not fail you, nor we fail them.

This site was developed to contain work by Mike Fox relating to the WMMTC course
This page was last updated on 2001-11-03

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