It's May 9th 2020.
Yesterday we celebrated the 75th anniversary of VE Day. On May 8th 1945 I was six and a half years old. Having lived through the war on the Pheasey Estate at the northernmost edge of the city of Birmingham conurbation I have some clear visual and aural memories of those terrible years.
Birmingham was one of the most visited targets for the German air force bombardments. I have to say, however, that I do not recall being 'afraid', even when we would scramble to get down into the Anderson shelters in our gardens or simple huddle together in that space under the stairs we thought would protect us from harm!
Such is the inexperience of childhood! Innocence? Yes, but only in the sense of being unprepared for harsh reality, and protected for a while from the anguish of expectation.
Things are very different now! Experience brings the prospect of things to come based on the reminders of things already witnessed. I fear for the future of this generation if our children and grandchildren do not recognise and rise to the challenges of nature which our good old planet earth is signalling.
I say to them:
"Take them as the occasion to demonstrate that you accept the opportunity they offer to show that you can work together as all equally children of the God who will give you the insights and mental strengths you need to respond to what you are being called to be and do.
Abandon the greed and envy, fueled by the selfishness of pride, which have driven us all over the last two hundred years to build the modern towers of Babel which, with their Grenfell cladding of easy option contentment, could well enfold the episode that is human history in the unloving embrace of the planet's firey fury. "