Dreamworld – we grieve and we reflect
Dreamworld, and why peacemaking can’t wait
If Dreamworld shows us anything, it is that in a single moment in time, relationships can be torn apart.
On Tuesday 25 October 2016, the lives of four people sharing the joy of a ride at Dreamworld tragically ended. As a result, relationships shattered, families were forever changed, and millions of Australians were shocked and saddened.
We at PeaceWise share the grieving for all the lives impacted by this terrible accident, and offer our prayers of deep condolence especially to the families of those who died.
Whilst people die every day, this tragedy seems to have had a unique national impact. Many of us carry rich memories of days of fun and laughter shared with family and friends at Dreamworld or other theme parks.
We are confronted by the thought that it could have been us, or our loved ones, that were on that ride at that time. We could imagine ourselves suffering the same shattering ending of relationships. This can be an unsettling realisation.
Relationship with God and with others
Our God cares deeply about relationships. He cares about our relationship with him…
Long ago the LORD said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. (Jeremiah 31:3, New Living Translation)
… and our relationships with each other…
A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34-35)
In fact, the very nature of God himself as Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Spirit) is a statement of the importance of relationship to God – and we are made in his very image as relational beings (Genesis 1:27).
God knows what it is like to have a relationship destroyed in a single moment. Our relationship with God was shattered when Adam and Eve decided to disobey God (Genesis chapter 3).
God says ‘Don’t wait!’
Yet because of his indescribable love for us, God put in place his plan to mend the brokenness and restore us back to relationship with him. Because Jesus lived, died and defeated death by rising to life again, we can have a restored relationship with God forever when we confess our sin to him and rely on Jesus’ work to save us and restore us.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them. (John 3:36)
This is a matter of urgent and eternal importance.
And if we are aware of a broken relationship with another, God calls us not to delay in seeking to make peace in that relationship too – in fact, he calls on us to be initiator of making peace:
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24)
Life is full of uncertainties. The book of James reminds us that we just don’t know what will happen tomorrow – our life is a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes (James 4:13-14).
So, whether it is making peace with God, or making peace with another, we urge you not leave it in the ‘one day’ basket – it’s far too pressing for that.
To find out more about what the Bible teaches about God’s forgiveness and what it looks like to forgive others, read Chapter 10 of The Peacemaker (Ken Sande). (Over this year, through each edition of Peace It Together, we will be sharing the basic peacemaking principles as covered in each chapter of the book, The Peacemaker (by Ken Sande).)