February 2010

Dear Friends,

This time of year some find unwelcome with its rain and cold, its overcast skies and long nights, and they look forward in anticipation to warmer days, brighter skies and the promise of Spring.   Recent days have also been overcast by the news of the death of Heather, Mike and Jean’s daughter, and others have had the sad news of their loss of loved ones. In addition to that we have been saddened by the news from Haiti of their utter devastation by an earthquake.

At such times as these many people question belief in a God who allows such things, and even ask whether he exists at all. How does our faith stand up in such circumstances ? What do we believe ?  Christians are not immune from the troubles, dangers and sadness that this world brings, and we at times find our faith tested under such circumstances.  We are not immune from aches, pains and decay, nor from the natural processes of the physical world expressed through floods, hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis. We do not pretend to answer the question “Why?”.  But we do know that Jesus knew suffering and death as a human being and that he thus identifies with us in our sorrow.  We do know that we live in a fallen world.  The politicians are talking about it as a broken society, and it is, because until Jesus returns this world is a battle ground between the forces of evil and good; and we also find that struggle in our daily lives.  But we do know that Jesus is the Lord of creation and all powerful and that he lives in us through his Holy Spirit who identifies with our struggles and sorrows and assists us in our internal daily battle. We do know that one day Jesus will return and that there will be a new creation in which only good and the glory of God will exist.  As believers we do know that we will be part of that (the King will say…’come you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world”. Matthew 25 v. 34). But for the moment as we struggle with the sorrows of the present, that glory is the promised Spring – only a trillion times better!  We live in the light of that promise which is the blazing light at the end of our tunnel.

We have confidencethat because all God’s other promises have been fulfilled, the promise of Heaven and sharing in Christ’s total victory over death and evil is also true. Jesus said to his disciples (followers) those now familiar words - “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you”.(John 14 v. 2).  At the present, as we live with the Spirit in our lives, God graciously gives us little tastes of heaven which are expressed in Jesus.

For now, we must work to diminish the results of our fallen society-  reduce the huge disparities between rich and poor, between the hungry and those with plenty, in a world which has immense wealth and resources.  We need to care for those who are marginalised or lonely, comfort those who mourn ..…. the list is long.  We too need to share the Gospel of love, forgiveness and hope that is to be found in Jesus, so that others may know “the true light that gives light to everyman. (John 1 v.9).

So let us pray for those known to us who need the reassurance of the comfort and hope that is to be found in Jesus.

May God bless you.

With my love and prayers for you all,

David


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