Personally, I favor the more modern approach to worship. Yet, something will touch my heart when I hear an old hymn. Today at the Pike River Mine memorial service, the grand old hymn How Great Thou Art rang out. It sounded as if I was hearing it for the first time.
Twenty-nine tables were set up in front to represent the miners who will not be coming home. It is quite possible now that their bodies will remain where they perished.
Each table had a picture and name of a miner. Also on them were personal memorabilia. At the conclusion, mourners filed past. Those who wanted to placed a fern or stone on whichever tables they wished to do so did. It is always good to do something positive when saying goodbye to loved ones and this token of respect will give closure.
Many messages of condolences have been received from around the world. It is getting smaller every day and this tragedy has highlighted this in a positive way. Among those to pay their respects, were the Queen and other members of the royal family.
Hillary Clinton sent heartfelt condolences. Several Pacific leaders did the same sending their messages to government house. The President of Singapore did likewise, deeply concerned at the loss of life. Many others followed suit, including the Pope.
Where is God in all this? Where he always is, waiting for his children to come home. It is not His fault this happened so it is a waste of time blaming Him. Neither is it fate. It is purely an accident. Coal mining is one of the most dangerous occupations. As in the case of Pike River, high levels of methane gas ignited by a spark and we have a tragic loss of life.