Ribble estuary at sunset

Day 38 on either side of the river

Towers stand either side of the Ribble estuary, the sun’s light gets more colourful as it descends and the wildlife carries on as usual.

Revelation 22:2

In the middle of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bore twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

There is always two sides to a river, and there are always two sides to society. Opulent living always shows a sharp contrast against the poverty in the same town.

Where is the poverty? It is hidden, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Jesus seemed at home, if He ever did feel at home, with people who wanted him. He goes where people in the Bible ask Him to go. If a daughter or relative, or even servant is sick, Jesus is asked to come to help.

People go where they are welcomed. I don’t know many people who will travel to places they are not welcomed.

I spoke to a lady who had an open door policy to anyone, and invited all in and shared sweets and chat with everyone, no matter what creed or colour. She was truly a sister in Christ. She was living out this Christ like existence that we are all called out to live.

preston docks at night
preston docks at night

In contrast I took my family for a meal at the ribble Pilot and dined in style. How do I justify living this way when people are living in poverty?

I think we have to use our money wisely, which I do not do too often, but we have to play a balancing act. We certainly deserve a wonderful life, but we need to share this wonderful life and more importantly the reason why we feel happy and content in our life with others. This reason why we can be content is that we have found God through Jesus Christ, and we are led by the Holy Spirit.

The early church all lived out of each others pockets, or each just had what they needed. This is a sharp contrast to how some churches exist today.

Acts 2:44-45

Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

Selling all their goods and dividing them amongst all who need is what they did. This is just staggering for me. Does this not want to make you go around your house trying to gather up what you have plenty of and give this away. I know we have families to take care of, but did the early church sell everything so they could not live? I don’t think they did, but they certainly did share much of their wealth with others.

How can we share our wealth and gifts from God?

Does the church feel cold and the house of the helpful elderly lady feel warm because the love is there? Is this where Christ is, where He is welcome and where He is needed?

Revelation 22:2 tells of the hope of a life to come, not a life that now exists. If all things are shadows of heaven, perhaps this river sunset is a reflection of heaven in some ways. Perhaps if we look upon the heaven version of this river we shall see great fruit trees of healing either side, instead of pylons and in instead of one fire burning on the shore, we shall see many torches burning lighting the way to God’s holy temple.

ribble estuary sunset
ribble estuary sunset

I don’t think that God is trying to make us feel guilty about our living, He is just trying to guide us to Him and we probably make ourselves feel guilty sometimes. Perhaps we should all take a leaf out of the ladies hospitality and open our windows and doors, invite people in just to chat and share with them our wonderful life.

I pray that I and many others shall learn to live a Christ led life as the year is led out.
I pray that the poverty in our towns is made visible,
so that we may deal with it and help as much as we can.

I pray that we shall all arrive at our hopeful destination in God’s garden,
which gates are open to all who will welcome Him.

Amen

with blessings

Graham

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