Thought for the week with Rev. Edward Lyons

Walking the streets of France this week shows me two things. One, the population has not ground to a halt in light of recent attacks and tourists like myself still visit.

Today, soldiers patrolled a market with their rifles on full show. In one sense it was reassuring to think they were policing the town. However somewhat concerning when you realise they’re doing it because they know attacks can happen anywhere.

Police patrols have been increased here and we only missed the huge queues at Dover by one week. This is the price we pay for the security we desire. Now why does God allow killings like France has experienced and is trying to avoid? For much the same reason we see killings all over the world. We tend to pay more attention closer to home or closer to our own culture. This is our first weakness on the question. Misunderstanding freedom of our own Will is the second.

The price of freedom of the human Will necessitates the ongoing potential of the abuse of that freedom. So what kind of world would we want to live in?

Most People want less tax, less war, less crime and less stress. The simple way to achieve it is less freedom. Yet few want that. C.S.Lewis articulated it well in the Screwtape Letters. God desires the freedom to be given to us and to be used not abused. He is most glorified when creatures in his image conform to Him by choice rather than duress.

We are capable of relating to one another in the greatest possible way. To do so in freedom. Jesus said he had come that we might be free. This has many connotations. Yet surely one is to learn how to choose period. A choosing that honours the image we are all made in as well as the one who made it.