By Tim Harrold 21.10.17 for the Thurrock Gazette

Reflection of the Week

Every week for the past 15 years, ministers from the borough’s church have gathered to pray together for Thurrock. They come from all kinds of expressions of the Christian faith – Pentecostal pastors, Anglican vicars, Salvation Army captains, Catholic priests, Baptist and Methodist ministers, watching over the fifteen towns and villages of Thurrock.

TLP logoThey believe in unity. They believe in love, blessing, and speaking life.

Why? Because God loves our borough. That’s a fact.

One of the stated aims of the new Transformation Thurrock charity is “to love, bless and be speakers of life to our wonderful borough of Thurrock”.

There’s nothing in this statement that anyone can disagree with because – as the Holy Book of the Christians says – there is no law higher than love. Jesus taught his followers to bless those who curse us. To speak life is to always acknowledge other human beings as made in the image of God.

There is no law higher than love. Think about that. Love is the perfect rule for life. Love is ultimately absolute. Love includes forgiveness, grace, mercy.

The Bible says God is love – not ‘love is God’ – because love has a moral dimension to it. Jesus was and is pure love in the flesh. It’s no wonder others call Jesus the Prophet of Love. The true love he showed stretches across mankind.

ARKJesus taught his followers to bless those who curse us. To come in the ‘opposite spirit’. As Evan Almighty found out, ARK means ‘acts of random kindness’. Do the right thing, the unexpected thing. Bless someone who doesn’t deserve it, or who’s looked down upon, or left out of things.

Speaking life is lifting up – not putting down! Instead of divisive cynicism, uniting optimism.

Why? Because God loves, blesses, and speaks life over Thurrock. That’s a fact.

Thought of the Week

So, the Lower Thames Crossing is happening after all, despite the consultations and public meetings. Spare a thought – say a prayer – for those who’ll lose their houses; those whose properties are already blighted; the farmers who’ll lose land and income; for other industries affected.

Let’s be positive: imagine how a new motorway can bring fresh opportunity and increased prosperity to Thurrock.

This borough’s always been a crossing place: history shows its geography makes it highly strategic, much sought after – significant!