I read my Bible to see what men ought to do; and read my newspapers to see what men are doing – John Newton
Lord renew thy church beginning with me: lord renew the church that the church may renew the nation(s) – a Prayer for the Decade of Evangelism
1. In my country, on the third Thursday of each year there is a major national event organized by the Church – A National Leadership Prayer Breakfast. At this function leaders from Government and Civil Society join the church in prayer and reflection on the state of the nation. This year our Prime Minister and the Leader of the Parliamentary Opposition were invited by the preacher on to the podium for special prayers. An excerpt from a report shared on RJR news online appears below
Jamaica’s leaders were on Thursday morning challenged not to be autocratic or confrontational in these challenging times, but to be courageous and lead by example.
This was a key part of the message delivered at the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast by guest speaker, Bishop Dr. Delford Davis.
Dr. Davis, who is pastor of Power of Faith Ministries, called for the nation’s leaders to become collaborative.
“We have had a winner and a loser. As political parties contend for state power, some might argue… that Jamaica has never won, and many have contemplated this question.” This is now high time for Jamaica to win. Jamaica must win for all Jamaicans, and not for a select few.”
That which caught my attention however, were the two readings. OT and NT. And in particular the one from Joshua….Be Bold and very courageous.
2. The second bit of news which, apart from the continued reports about murders, was an egregiously outrageous statement by a sitting member of Parliament. A response to his comments, one of many, including an column written by the Anglican Bishop of Jamaica ….http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Those-who-do-not-count_15802229
In a speech characteristic of the bombast that has made him infamous, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) member of parliament for South West St Catherine espoused a view of politics that could have the unintended consequence of bringing an already wobbling process into further disrepute.
“If you don’t vote, you don’t count, and you can’t ask for government benefits when you refuse to participate in the governance of your country. I don’t know how others perform, how others work, but in South West St Catherine dem have to vote to talk to me, nuh care how yu sick and need it, nuh care how the old lady on the crutch; you didn’t vote without an excuse, you don’t talk to this member of parliament,” he said.
That’s an outrageous perspective for a liberal democracy of the type we have been fashioning for nearly a century and to which I believe most of our political leaders aspire.
This week I was led to write two letters and send out a number of tweets. The first letter, I believe, was triggered by the state of the nation and the validation, at the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast, of the call ” from the most unlikely source”
( The Minister of National Security who is not known to be a church man) , for ‘Divine Intervention’. It was addressed to national leaders, and makes the point that ‘when the going gets tough, our only recourse is to ask The Lord for help’. And with ‘madman’ Warmington, together with the equally outrageous behavior of two of our top dancehall female artistes, and the pressing social and economic problems all around, and a feeling of hopelessness abound, I thought a perspective from one who had access the minds of men of great power could help at this time.
THE FIRST MESSAGE
Peter Marshall ( 1902 -1949) was a Scottish emigrant to America and served as Chaplain to the United States Senate for two years. After his death his wife Catherine published his biography ” A Man called Peter”, which made his story well known. And even more so when the book was made into a popular film.
The excerpt from a ‘sermon’ to the most powerful legislators in the world in a time of great crisis, the years of WW11, struck me this morning, as I was led to read them during my devotions.
A message we in Jamaica need, in this our time of crisis, with the twin swords of Damocles, spiraling crime and anemic economic growth, hanging around our proverbial necks. For years! And we have no clear idea what to do, despite the apparent ‘ light at the end of the tunnel’ provided by the IMF agreement. Further, who is going to rescue us from D’Angel and Macka Diamond and what their recent behavior represents metaphorically in our society – an issue captured so well by young Daniel Thwaites in brilliant satirical style, in his most recent column. And each one being inextricably linked to the other. Perhaps we should include in the mix, ” what is to be done about M.P. Warmington” and others like him, and what they represent in the body politic in Jamaica!
FOR GOD’S GRACE IN OUR HELPLESSNESS
Verse Judges 7:2
We know, our Father that at this desperate hour in world affairs, we need thee. We need thy strength, thy guidance, thy wisdom.
There are problems far greater than any wisdom of man can solve. What shall our leaders do in such an hour?
May thy wisdom and thy power come upon the President of these United States, the Senators and Congressmen, to whom have been entrusted leadership. May the responsibility lie heavily on their hearts, until they are ready to acknowledge their helplessness and turn to thee. Give to them the honesty, the courage, and the moral integrity to confess that they don’t know what to do. Only then can they lead us as a nation beyond human wisdom to thee, who alone has the answer.
Lead us to this high adventure. Remind us that a ‘ mighty fortress is our God’- not a hiding place where we can escape for a easy life; but rather an arsenal of courage and strength – the mightiest of all, who will march beside us into battle for righteousness and world brotherhood.
O our God, may we never recover from our feeling of helplessness and our need for of thee! In the strong name of Jesus, our Lord, we pray. Amen
Peter, I am not sure that you understand clearly the ‘seed ‘ that you have sown in this nation. But be of good courage and persevere, in the midst of the criticism from any quarter. For those who follow history closely will recall that the USA was a ” reluctant bride” in WW11. And had to be convinced to enter the struggle to defeat Hitler. Then came the pain of Pearl Harbour. And other issues not well publicized too. The point here is that God moves in mysterious ways always. We just have to trust him now, as others, like Rev. Peter Marshall, have urged leaders in the past, to place all their trust in The Creator of Heaven and Earth. Why? Despite our apparent wisdom and power, without Him we are helpless. But with Him all things are possible.
As I finished writing the note during my early morning devotions and went on my knees in prayers, another thought came. And so I wrote. Again!
The key thing about the verse from Judges about Gideon, if you read the story carefully, is that when God grants us the wisdom, the power and the victory, we should not boast as if it is our courage and might and wisdom which has caused us to prevail. But to give him the glory always. To do otherwise is to ignore the lessons taught to us by Sam Sharpe and others. And to ignore what was the greatest declaration of victory in human history, spoken by Christ on the Cross of Calvary: ” It is finished”. Which is precisely what we have done. Hence the pain, about which Lewis writes with compassion, humility and deep insight.
All done for today.
This actually came after I had been moved to write that C.S. Lewis’ The PROBLEM OF PAIN ought to made required reading for all who aspire for leadership in Jamaica. And as you know by now, my having written about this book for the past three weeks, it’s all about man rebelling against God during ‘The Fall’, and hence the introduction of pain in the world.
Please follow me carefully now, as even as I write, I am astounded. This morning, believe it or not, after being awakened by an early morning call, and I rarely leave my cell phone on at night, I went to sleep and this thought came during my early morning sleep. “It is finished” means that all human beings can be at rest in God, as the great work of bringing us back into relationship with Him, which is what we were Created to have and to be, is all done. Even the great passage in Acts 17 came during this ‘eventful’ sleep.
” Then Paul stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus. He said, “Men of Athens! I see that you are very religious in every way. As I walked around, I looked carefully at the things you worship. I even found an altar with ~to an unknown god= written on it. Now I am going to tell you about this ‘unknown god’ that you worship. “He is the God who made the world. He also made everything in it. He is the Lord of heaven and earth. He doesn’t live in temples built by hands. He is not served by human hands. He doesn’t need anything. He himself gives life and breath to all people. He also gives them everything else they have. From one man he made all the people of the world. Now they live all over the earth. He decided exactly when they should live. And he decided exactly where they should live. God did this so that people would seek him. Then perhaps they would reach out for him and find him. They would find him even though he is not far from any of us. ‘In him we live and move and exist.’ As some of your own poets have also said, ‘We are his children.’ (Acts 17:22-28 NIRV)
So here is where, on reflection, God’s mighty power was at work in ways that I don’t begin to understand. Yesterday I went to a planning meeting of The Healing Conference; which is an annual event going on for many decades. Where people from varying denominations, but mostly Anglicans, come together for a weekend of Fellowship, Singing, Teaching and Healing. The Bishop who is our Chairman, Bishop Daniel, as is his accustomed habit, before prayers, read a short meditation.
On the importance and deeper understanding of sabbath rest. An meditation that took us far deeper than how the SDA treat with the subject, for as the writer explained…the sabbath and rest from work, and the attendant benefits , is not about man but about a gracious God A topic, as I informed him, about which I had that very morning addressed in a letter to a SDA pastor for whom I have great respect. But was led to challenge him to reflect of what God had placed in my heart. So I did so boldly.
THE SECOND MESSAGE
…….This response to our ‘conversation’ last year resumes much later than I had promised and anticipated. But it is always better to wait on the guidance of the Spirit rather than rush ahead.
Actually this message began yesterday, when I was led to read 1 Timothy. And as I read the following words this ‘conversation’ came to mind:
“We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is not made for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels……and for whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which he entrusted me.” ! Timothy 1:8-11.
How did I get there? I was searching for ” Timothy my son……..some have rejected these and have so shipwrecked their faith”…1:19. Why? Recall that the second reading at the NLBP was taken from Acts 27. A story about a shipwreck; all because the folks involved chose not to listen to Paul’s warning. And so as I was led to reflect on both passages; the one from Joshua…be bold and very courageous; and this one from the Acts of the Apostles, my mind, led by the Spirit went to this Timothy passage.
Then this morning as I awoke and began walking to my study to engage in my early morning devotions, ” I have been crucified in Christ……”, came into my mind. One of my favorite Bible passages! And so I read, and read, and read all about the futility;and more than that, ” You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you” ( NIV); of being under the law. An argument which climaxes towards to end of Galatians, with specific reference to circumcision. Followed by the profound and eternal recommendation: ” Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.”
Therefore I know that the context revolves around the struggle the early church had in resisting any attempts to seduce the new converts to, ” behave like Jews”, and allow themselves to become circumcised. And thus “avoid being persecuted ( 6:12) for the cross of Christ”. In that context then, and note I am not writing to ask you to explain the ‘keeping of the Sabbath”, as you will appreciate from what I have written that, ” flesh and blood’ did not teach me these things”; but rather for you as a leader in the SDA church to reflect on them. For the glory of God!…….
And having been led to write such a ‘bold’ letter, I was moved to read and write the following:
And then I was led to read and sing and weep in my soul, I suppose given the huge implications of this conversation, the song below:
There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul
Sometimes I feel discouraged
And think my work’s in vain
But then the Holy Spirit
Revives my soul again
If you can’t preach like Peter
If you can’t pray like Paul
Just tell the love of Jesus
And say, “He died for all”.
And the verse referenced with the hymn in my Classics Devotional Bible, is Jeremiah 8:22.
Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
Why then is there no healing
for the wound of my people?
Intriguing isn’t it!
So what does all of this have to do with MP Warmington’s madness, the issue of bold leadership and Jamaica’s serious problem with Crime and Violence.
Two tweets from triggered by the sermon that the same Bishop Daniel preached that afternoon at the funeral of a very popular Evangelist, who labored in the ‘vineyards’ at home and abroad, Julius Creary, might help.
@lucienforJesus: Christ is Savior Judge and also intercedes for us. What a comfort! Bishop Daniel at Julius Creary’s funeral today.# IloveyouJesus #Julius
@lucienforJesus: If you truly love Jesus you are to feed His sheep. That’s what He told Peter. Not look after yourself. Bishop Daniel today. #Jesus @sqyre
The give away here is that ” neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means a thing. What counts is a new creation”.
In that regard then, unlike MP Warmington, who believes that only those who vote ‘count’ in his eyes, the God of Creation, in Christ, died on the cross of Calvary, while we were still sinners, because ” all whom He created counts”. And He loves all of us dearly; even to death of a Cross. So that our sins may be forgiven. That’s the essence of the ‘good news’, the gospel of Christ. And the matter is ‘finished’. Forever! What is needed on our part is repentance and to seek God in Christ, and become a ” new creation”. Only that simple ‘ old time religion’ is good enough for the world. That’s the basic message of any Evangelist. Or ought to be! Lest, as Paul warned, ” The cross be emptied of it’s power”.
Therefore the sabbath rest in Christ, …It is finished…..ought never to be confused with ‘keeping the sabbath’. A horse of a different color all together. And keeping with the metaphor, that’s like trying ‘ride two horses at the same time’. One of grace and mercy in Christ, and the other of trying to ‘keep the law’ or commands, in response to grace.
This is indeed the comfort that Bishop spoke about. That we are no longer to be judged by a a law, a system of rules that no one could keep, but by the same one who is our Savior. And not only Savior but also the One who advocates for us at the right hand of God. Therefore there is no longer any condemnation, whether you ‘keep the sabbath’ or not! Whether you worship on a Sunday or not! Whether you have an experience with angels or not! Whether you ” get in the spirit’ or not! Whether you participate in Holy Communion every week or once a year! All that matters is that you repent of your sins and accept Christ as Lord. And thus become a new creation.
Then comes the true test. If we really love Jesus, because He died for us, and not just because we see Him as a ‘ celestial boops’ …’ ‘im give me everyting me ask ‘im…or a heavenly Santa Claus, then our proper response is to ….feed his sheep. take care of people, in so many different ways. The Politician, the Businessman, the lawyer, the journalist, the teachers, the doctors, the students. The lonely. The downtrodden. The helpless! ….those captured and led astray by satan….Franz Fannon’s ‘ wretched of the earth’…those in error like ‘warmington’…those who rob and kill and steal…in fact the whole human race. As that is the kind of boldness and passion we need to rescue Jamaica, America, Syria, Egypt and the all people everywhere. And tell them the story that ” it is finished”. All done. On Calvary
I read my Bible to see what men ought to do: an d read my newspapers to see what men are doing – John Newton ( a former slave ship owner turned priest).
Lord renew thy church beginning with me; Lord renew the church that the church may renew the nation (s) – A Prayer for the Decade of Evangelism.
This week the news at home arose primarily from yet another surge of murders. Really heart breaking stuff incidents in particular involved the rape of a young school girl, and the splaying of a young and promising teacher; descriptions and pictures of his students mourning was very difficult to read. The link to the distressing story of a school girl who was brutally raped, is shared below:
and the general picture is described in another link;
The other story which caught my attention was a tweet from CNN contributor and New York Times op-ed columnist Charles Blow in which he posted his latest column entitled ” Sex is not our problem”.
The point which struck me, in particular, inter alia, was the documentation of the kind of liberal ‘ on the fast track’ lifestyle, manifest in their attitudes towards sex and abortions and STD’s ; and it’s inevitable consequences, which many are accepting as the norm, without shame or apology. And worse, offering solutions which do not cause any pain or remorse or the requisite profound change in attitude on the part of these young people. The challenge for the rest of the world is that this kind of lifestyle is being exported along with Pepsi and iPhones!
The fundamental question which then arises from all of this, is what has happened to mankind why we cause each other so much pain? A question which goes right to the heart of any discussion on crime and violence on the one hand. And changes in values and attitudes with its attendant effects, on the other hand. It is in this context then that I believe The Lord spoke during this week.
The week began with my being inspired to write an e-mail to a local politician whose appeal for divine intervention in seeking to solve the problem of crime and violence has landed him in ” hot water’ with some journalists, and others in the society. And so I wrote to encourage him to go a step further than make a request to God, but more importantly believe in His Son, Christ Jesus and him crucified. Also copied the note to other leaders in society
…….. you have to go a step further than ‘ asking for divine intervention. Read the Word carefully that was sent this morning, and the tweet I sent to you ……
Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, (1 Corinthians 1:22, 23 NIVUK)…read Jews demand divine intervention.
Then go back to where the Word started this morning:
” Now there were some Greeks among them who went up to worship at the Feast. They came to Phillip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee with a request. Sir we want to see Jesus……….Jesus replied, The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified…” John 12:20-23
Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. This was to fulfil the word of Isaiah the prophet: ‘Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?’ Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God. (John 12:37, 38, 42, 43 NIVUK)
The message is the same ……; you have to accept Christ and Him crucified, be baptized and serve God, if you are to make a difference in this ” demon possessed valley”. And do not worry about those journalists who ridicule you for seeking divine intervention. Your role is not to satisfy them,…seek praise from men….. but to trust God and His Son Jesus who died for you. And for them too. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in me. In my Father’s house….”.
He having received the note graciously responded. And so we had a behind the scenes discussion on the priority of “soul winning” vs social action. My understanding, as a ‘disciple’ of the late and widely acclaimed Evangelical Anglican Theologian Rev. John Stott, is that both are equally important. Further, I referenced the letter written by Screwtape to his junior devil, from one of C.S. Lewis’ classics, ” The Screwtape Letters, which I had included in the mail out last Sunday night, as witness that we need to be very cautious when we make presumptions about God’s mercy
About the general connection between Christianity and politics, our position is more delicate. Certainly we do not want men to allow their Christianity to flow over into their Christian life, for the establishment of anything like a really just society would be a major disaster. On the other hand we do want and want very much, to make men treat Christianity as a means; preferably, of course, as a means to their advancement, but failing that, as a means to anything – even to social justice.
The thing to do is to get a man first to value social justice as a thing which the Enemy demands, and then work him on to the stage at which he values Christianity because it may produce social justice. For the Enemy will not be used as a convenience. Men or nations who think that they can revive the Faith in order to make a good society might just as well think they can use the stairs of Heaven as a short cut to the nearest chemist’s shop.
Comment – The point in all of this is that, even when we are at out wit’s end in respect of dealing with crime and violence, and the consequences of a lack of a moral compass in any society, if we elect to come to God for help, we must understand the nature and extent of God’s mercy and goodness. A subject which C. S.Lewis deals with extensively and in a very profound way in “The Problem of Pain”, which I am currently reading. The tweets which I sent out will give you an appreciation of where Lewis is heading.
@lucienforJesus: Now error and sin both have this property, that the deeper they are the less their victims suspect their existence.#CSLewis #Truth #Mystery
@lucienforJesus: God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience,but shouts in our pains; it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world #CSLewis
@lucienforJesus: The human spirit will not even begin to try to surrender self-will as long as ail seem well with it. # RockofAges # washmeSaviororIdie
So far Lewis had put forward cogent reasoning for him, a former, atheist, and all others, to believe that there is indeed a Sovereign God in control of the affairs of man. That this God alone is God. That this God, for reasons that we cannot understand and Lewis suggests that it not very useful to try and find out why, created man and gave him free will. And that by virtue of The Christian Doctrine of ‘The Fall of mankind’, which is essentially how we came to be so disobedient to God, most of the problems and pain in this world can be understood.
In all of this I came across an observation by Lewis which I believe is one of the most important, even if simple, statements, about the required behavior of Mankind to a Sovereign God.
” Now the proper good of a creature is to surrender itself to its Creator – to enact intellectually, volitionally, and emotionally, that relationship which is given in the mere fact of it being a creature. When it does so, it is good and happy…..In the world as now know it, the problem is how to recover this self surrender. We are not merely imperfect creatures who must be improved; we are as Newman said, rebels who must lay down our arms”.
The problem for Charles Blow and the liberal press in the USA, and beyond is to found in the first tweet from Lewis’ book. Error and sin have become so entrenched, that folks do not even suspect that they are in error. Worse in sin
No wonder the Word of God, warns us that, ” The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God”. 2 Cor. 4:4 NIV
The Christian life then is all about surrendering to the Creator who made us. Reached out to us in Christ Jesus on the cross of Calvary; and empowers the baptized with the Holy Spirit. Thus enabling us to live a holy life, and to share this good news with others in their distress. And when we ‘fall down’, we are assured of God’s mercy if we seek His help. Seventy times seven!
But how far have we moved away from this simple formula for being happy and good. It is this context then that Lewis develops his theories about the reasons for pain. And offers three of them. Two are yet to come. The first one he calls ” terrible instrument” , and hence the second tweet about pain being God’s megaphone to ‘rouse a deaf world’. Remember how many persons flocked the churches after 9/11 in the USA. And we all know how many of us ‘ run to God’ in times of trouble, but when times are good, we promptly forget about Him. Locally, a driver of a huge tanker laden with gas, who escaped injury after bravely driving he track away from a thickly populated area, has since then expressed a need to ‘ turn to God”. As he felt that this was the Lord’s way of speaking to him.
As I read the last tweet and the profound reality, as addressed in the comments above, the second verse of Rock of Ages came to mind. As these words expressed very simply yet so accurately the kind of attitude that sinful man must have when he cries out to God for ‘ divine intervention’.
Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.
Finally this week, I wrote a letter to the Editor of The Gleaner on account of an editorial published on Saturday, yesterday, January 11th 2014. Read the excerpt, or the entire piece at http://www.go-jamaica.com and see why I was moved to write. No so much in defense of the Minister, as I hold no brief for him, politically or otherwise. Although I work fairly closely with him, and have done so for years, with many others who hold that office. But rather in defense of the Sovereignty of the Creator God, and His compassion and mercy, and power shown through the church, the body of Christ, to may societies throughout the ages.
THE GLEANER EDITORIAL an excerpt of which is germane to this discussion.
…….We submit that killing a few gang members cannot be the centrepiece of any anti-crime strategy. National Security Minister Peter Bunting signalled that he was all out of ideas to fight crime when he declared sometime ago that the country needed “divine intervention”. With the country in the grip of a crime crisis, national security is one of the most important portfolios in the Cabinet, and if the minister is unable to effectively lead that ministry, then he should step aside. Although citizens have a part to play in helping to keep their neighbourhoods safe, it can’t be that the country looks to the religious community for the next big idea to make Jamaicans less violent and the country a safer place in which to live and work…….
Having read the Daily Gleaner’s Editorial today, as a Christian, with a long history of involvement in public health issues, of which crime and violence, the topic under review, is one, I feel compelled to make the following points. That a call by The Minister of National Security, or any other Minister of Government, or member of civil society, for ‘Divine Intervention’, in the fight against, what some may argue is the most important national issue going forward into 2014, Crime and Violence, does not mean, ipso facto that, such a call translates into that person being ” all out of ideas to fight crime”.
That the writer’s lack of appreciation at best, and ignorance at worse, of the role of the religious community in general, and the Christian church in particular, in advancing, and more importantly, attended by considerably sacrifice and pain, in implementing ” big ideas”, in nation building, is amazing in this era of easy access to information. An impression that one could reasonably deduce from reading the editorial. In that respect then, it leaves me to wonder if the writer has ever heard of Sam Sharpe, and read about his role in setting black people free from the shackles of slavery? All because of the ‘big idea’ that all men are equal before God! Has the writer ever contemplated the role of ‘church schools’, perhaps to which he or she owes a great debt, in shaping a nation? All because of the ‘big idea’ that education of the sons and daughters of former slaves, could better enhance their freedom, and build a nation!
If this nation had responded to the ‘big idea’ that “righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach”, then we would have avoided this madness about which, the headlines from another newspaper ‘cried for divine intervention’. For make no mistake about it, to wonder if there is ” A Devil amidst us”, is to implicitly ask God for help. Unless of course the writer of the Gleaner editorial is, unaware of, or unconvinced about, the role that evil supernatural forces are playing in this heart breaking national problem.
Either way, whether it is in carrying out one’s baptismal mandate to ‘ fight valiantly against evil’, or in joining forces with the rest of civil society in helping to lift people out of poverty, sickness and ignorance, the religious community’s ‘big idea’ of trusting in God, and loving our neighbour as ourselves, if adopted by more people, would go a far way in fighting against crime and violence in this nation. The Minister is right. And refreshingly so for a politician! We should encourage him and not
‘ pour cold water’ on one of his ‘ big ideas’. Either because of prejudice or ignorance. Or both!
Dr. Lucien W. Jones
The key point on which I have reflected deeply this week, is Lewis’ contention, and the whole weight of the revelations contained in Holy Scripture, is that, ” the proper good of a creature is to surrender itself to its Creator. For that is what we are, despite the assumptions made by journalists, philosophers, et al. Whether they feature nightly on CNN, or write in the high rated, by man, New York Times. Whether they hold sway in less celebrated news rooms in Jamaica or otherwise. Whether they hold high office, only at the pleasure and mercy of God, even though they often times are unaware or unconvinced though the Word of God says:
” Do not put your trust in princes
in mortal men who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return
to the ground;
on that day their plans come to nothing.” Psalm 146;3 NIV
And because we continue to ignore this basic requirement of creature to a Creator, then sometimes pain is what makes men sit up and take notice. Even when the pain is of their own making and not necessarily coming from the hand of God.
Perhaps America in its currently sexual revolution should listen carefully. Perhaps Jamaica going through its own pain of murder an violent crime should listen even more carefully. As unlike those in rich countries, as the Gleaner well knows, we have no excuse, or less, most of us having been exposed to the Word of God. Whether by grandmothers, parents or ” the village”. But yet we fail to turn to God until things ” tun up’ real bad……have become so out of control, to use more conventional language.
I pray God that, even now, we will listen and turn from our rebellion against a Sovereign God. And accept our sinful state and like the woman from Canaan whose daughter was possessed by a demon asked he Lord for help. And when he testing her faith and told her that ” he was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel”; she in response , ” came and knelt before him and cried, Lord help me”. The final result? An assurance of mercy towards her and her daughter. In like manner, we, in response to the problem of sex and abortions and STDS in the USA, and Crime and Violence in Jamaica, need to turn to Christ, and cry out to Him, ” Lord help us”. And he will. As He did on the Cross of Calvary, even when were we His enemies.
What love! What mercy! What power. And yet we are asking where are the big ideas. Have mercy!
I read my Bible to see what men ought to do; and read my newspapers to see what men are doing – John Newton