The picture shows the sunset going down over Chorley in Lancashire
One Sunday was all about judgement, the next about blessing – I was thinking about how I had been judged by a member of the clergy long before they had met me. I wasn’t the right sort, wasn’t the right type, didn’t tick the eloquence box. I never have felt comfortable in social situations but I have learnt to bare them and if given a chance to talk about God, then I speak from the heart.
The evening came and the reading was Jesus sending out his disciples saying;
Matthew 10:7 (NKJV): And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
The kingdom of heaven was at hand, ringed through my ears like an announcement – I have always known that my main calling was to tell people about Jesus and His kingdom. What would the speaker tonight bring out?
The sermon came; what a difference, it was again about judgement, despite this being about taking the good news out to all, there was not even a mention of the passages read or even an attempt to expand on them – my mind spun with confusion, the preacher seemed angry, annoyed that people could have a different way of thinking!
People must be helped and encouraged to get through this pandemic in a positive way, with love and compassion. We must all do our best to bring an exhortation to the world, which means a type of building up. Too many people are condemning others for a choice and that turns them away from the church – 1 Cornthians 12:12-21 comes to mind where Paul talks about everyone despite being unique and different in many ways is part of Christ. This must also apply to people who are not yet members of the church as they are the future members.
What a difference a week makes as the next week my son was blessed with an award in the morning for his commitment to the church choir and in the evening I felt blessed that I have had the time to mature my faith and God has been incredibly patient with my sinful ways and my slothful ways but He, as is always the case has been walking through this valley of darkness with me. I sang the twenty third psalm with gusto, gasping at times from breath as we had been asked to wear masks, but cherishing the line about God walking through the valley with me.
Psalm 23:4 (NKJV)Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
We have moved to pastures new, we build with God with us and as the reading says, unless God is in our lives, then life is pointless because He is the source of all life, hope and love.
Psalm 127:1 (NKJV): Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
Dear Lord, guide us all to build upon your foundations a life guided by the good news, and a life where we continue to pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that what we build is guarded by your love so it will bring your kingdom blessings for all. In Jesus name.