Letter from the West Dereham rectory
Judith shares her discovery of a bible text previously un-noticed by her.
There is a curious sentence in the Bible which, I must admit, I haven't consciously noticed before: "And there was war in heaven" it says in Revelation chapter 12, verse 7.
War in heaven! One's heart sinks; surely this is meant to be a place of peace! In this month we have Remembrance Sunday and remember the sacrifice of those who thought they were fighting "The War to End All Wars" only to find the Second World War erupting a mere twenty-one years later . And still across the world today our television news is filled with "wars and rumours of wars", as well as horrifying stories of gun crime at home. Was their sacrifice in vain, then, those who fought that we might live in a better world?
As is often the case we need to read on to get the full story, not take one sentence out of context. St. John goes on to say is his vision, or Revelation, of heaven, "The great dragon was hurled down - that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. .. But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short."
C.S. Lewis, the writer of the Narnia books, put it so well, "The war is won, but there are still mopping up operations to be completed."
As anyone knows who has been engaged in hostilities, it takes time for all the pockets of resistance to become subdued.
Evil in this world has been overcome by Jesus' death on the cross. (You might like to read the whole passage: Revelation 12 v. 7-12.)
And don't worry if things seem to be getting worse, before they get better. We've been warned that will happen too, Satan is "filled with fury because he knows that his time is short." So take courage as you look at the world around you. You yourself can be part of those mopping up operations, spreading the kingdom of heaven where you live, until the time we are promised when Jesus, the Prince of Peace, comes again, as he most surely will.
With best wishes