Looking past #RNCinCle and #DemsinPhilly to God’s Word 

​GM: AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM, JAMAICAN PROSPERITY,  AND BEING RICH TOWARDS GOD IN AND THROUGH JESUS CHRIST 
Donald Trump wants to make America great again. And cited his version of the State of the Union! 
Divided by racial differences,  fearful of ISIS  and the reality of Terror at home and Abroad, Law and Order under siege at home, a   weak Army, a woeful Economy, and in the eyes of the world,  a weak America. 
Hillary Clinton says that America is already great. Because it is good! And cites Freedom – to worship, to choose their political leaders, to fulfill their God given potential, to love who they wish – Justice, Human Rights, The strength of the Military, The state of the  Economy and America’s influence on world affairs, as evidence.
And except for the almost obligatory ‘ God bless America ‘, at the end of the speeches at #RNCinClev and #DemsinPhilly, no mention of a desire to be ‘ Rich towards God’. A warning for America and we in Jamaica who seek ‘ Prosperity ‘!
A warning from the Word of the Gospel appointed for reading in my Anglican Church worldwide,  this Sunday, as the wider Church in Jamaica calls to Nation to a time of Prayer this weekend. A time of Prayer, seeking the Lord, and seeking His ‘ Divine Intervention ‘ for Crime and Violence are wreaking havoc on our country. 
A call which has bipartisan support, as both the present Minister of National Security Robert Montague and the former Minister Peter Bunting, were caught on camera praying with the team of organizers this week.
So what warning does the Lord issue to we who seek Prosperity, and the Americas who seek greatness, either in and through Donald Trump alone, or together #StrongerTogether with Hillary Clinton? An expanded version of the well known verse:
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His Righteousness, and all other things will be added”.
A warning first given to His Chosen but not ‘ Exceptional ‘ people, Israel.
” Man shall not live by bread alone but from every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord”. 
A warning which was ignored time and time again. With predictable, prophesied and disastrous consequences! 
A warning,  which if the Greek, the Roman and the Byzantine civilizations had heeded, such knowledge and obedience would have prevented their destruction. 
So as we read this solemn warning, once again, let us look past the hype and drama of #RNCinClev, and the #DemsinPhilly, and the saturated coverage by CNN. 

Let us look past the celebrations of Emancipendence, and the expected ‘ Gold Rush ‘ in Rio! 

Let us even  look past the joy of spending quality time with family, especially grandchildren! 
And consider the fate of civilizations over the centuries,  which have sought, and achieved Greatness, Power, Wisdom and Prosperity, but were  not, like the man who Jesus called foolish,  ‘ Rich towards God ‘. And therefore perished.
Remembering always that to be ‘ rich towards God’, means to accept Christ, and Him Crucified,  as Lord and Savior, repent of our sins, and through the Power of His Resurrection, at Baptism,  live a new and unending life. And then spread this Good News throughout the world by our witness of Love, Justice and Righteousness.
Then who knows, maybe the Lord will once again send ‘ times of refreshing,’ on Jamaica and America and the whole world.
 For as the songwriter says, and which hymn came into my heart this morning, in Christ, we have been:

” Ransomed, healed restored and forgiven”.
1. Praise, my soul, the King of heaven, 

to his  throne thy tribute bring; 

ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, 

who like me his  praises should sing. 

Alleluia! Alleluia! 

Praise the everlasting King….

Peace.
THE WORD OF GOD
http://bible.com/111/luk.12.13-21.niv Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”   Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?”  
Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”   
 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest.  He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’    
 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain.
  And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’   
  “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’  
   “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

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The Real Hillary Clinton and the Real Donald Trump as seen by God 

​GM: HOLIDAY REVELATIONS; THERE GO I BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD 

A vacation is an important time for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual renewal. Together with family and even when alone!
So far I’ve had a chance to make good progress, in between watching #RNCinCle and #DemsinPhilly, with a book I would highly recommend. “Encounters with Jesus”,  by Rev. Timothy Keller.

 

Yes, the same one who wrote Walking with God through Pain and Suffering. A topic which ought to be of great interest to everyone in this time of terror and violence and suffering all over the world.

As, from death because of  flooding in China, to suicide bombs in Afghanistan and Germany, to violence in another night club in America to the killing of a priest in France, the story is the same; pain and suffering.
It is in this context of terror and violence around the world,  and specifically in the USA, that DonaldTrump the Republican nominee for the Presidential elections, is making his appeal to the US voters.

As ” he alone can fix it”.
While over in the DNC,  Hillary Clinton aided by a wonderful speech by First Lady Michelle Obama, and a equally brilliant one from her husband, former president,  Bill Clinton, is appealing to voters, to vote for ‘ the real Hillary’,  and not the ‘ made up one’. The one who has the experience and temperament to lead the ‘greatest country ‘ in the world.

This is how they see themselves, and how others see them.
Then last night,  the Lord showed me the real Hillary, and the real Donald and the real me and the real you. The real Portia, the real  Andrew. The real PJ Patterson and the real Bruce Golding And it is not a pretty sight, ‘ in his eyes’!

No matter what Alecia Keys, or Meryl Street or Cory Booker or Ivanka Trump or Melania Trump may think. Nor what we or even our parents, children or friends may think about us!
It is for the reason as outlined in the meditation below, why  the words of this hymn had been in my heart as I awake  during this holiday period.
Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown,

When Thou camest to earth for me;

But in Bethlehem’s home was there found no room

For Thy holy nativity.
Refrain

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,

There is room in my heart for Thee
And especially this verse:
Thou camest, O Lord, with the living Word,

That should set Thy people free;

But with mocking scorn and with crown of thorn,

They bore Thee to Calvary.

Refrain
THE WAY TO PURITY

OSWALD CHAMBERS 
VERSE: MATTHEW 15:18-20
Those things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart….For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, formications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man.
THE MEDITATION 
Initially we trust in our ignorance, calling it innocence, and next we trust our innocence, calling it purity.

Then when we hear these strong statements from our Lord, we shrink back, saying, ” But I never felt any of those awful things in my heart.”.
We resent what He reveals. Either Jesus Christ is the supreme authority on the human heart, or He is not worth paying any attention to.

Am I prepared to trust the penetration of His Word into my heart ( come into my heart Lord Jesus…..my words), or would I prefer to trust my own ” innocent ignorance”?
If I will take an honest look at myself, becoming fully aware of my so-called innocence and putting it to the test, I am very likely to have a rude awakening that what Jesus Christ said is true, and I will be appalled at the possibilities of the evil and wrong within me………But when I am open and completely exposed before God, I find that Jesus Christ is right in His diagnosis of me.
The only thing that truly provides protection is the Redemption of Jesus Christ. If I will simply hand over myself to Him, I will never have to experience the terrible possibilities that lie within my heart. Purity is something far too deep for me to arrive at naturally. But when the Holy Spirit comes into me, He brings the center of my personal life the very Spirit that was exhibited in the Life of Jesus Christ, namely, the Holy Spirit, which is absolute unblemished purity.
Comments: I would recommend, especially for those who have not yet decided to follow Christ, and even for those who have, to purchase Keller’s” Encounters with Jesus”. As the essence of the message is that without the Holy Spirit, the Second Advocate, Jesus being the First Advocate, you cannot follow Christ. 
Which is exactly what Chambers is saying. Otherwise Michelle Obama’s profound message to all humanity can become your reality and mine.
” There go I but for the grace of God”.
To commit formications, to kill priests, to bomb the innocent and defenseless, to decide that Black Lives don’t matter and Blue Lives don’t matter. To lie and steal and pretend that we are good people. 
Thank God for Jesus, then, that all who invite the Savior into their hearts, through the Power of The Holy Spirit can live a life, holy and blameless before The Living God. And find Peace,  and share this Good News with Donald Trump, with Hillary Clinton,  with Portia and with Andrew, and the whole world,  to the Glory of God.

Amen.

ALL HAVE SINNED INCLUDING TRUMP AND CLINTON. THEREFORE ALL NEED JESUS 

​GM: ARE YOU A WRETCH BEFORE A HOLY GOD OR ARE YOU A GOOD PERSON 
O Jesus have mercy on my soul! I should have written this message yesterday but I was not sure. 
But between last night and this morning I am now very sure. 

That the fundamental reason why there is so much controversy and differences in the Church of Jesus Christ, is that we have forgotten,  or have been ‘ ambushed ‘ and led astray from the one of the central doctrines of the Christian Faith: that we need a mediator between God and sinful man. 
For all have sinned, every single person on earth, and fallen short of the Glory of God.
This is the essence of the message which touched my soul as I read a meditation from one of the all time great minds of Western intellectual history. An eminent mathematician and physicist and one the great mystical writers of Christian literature – Blaise Pascal. 
One who is credited with the famous quote that , ”  The last function of reason is to recognize that there is  an infinity of things which surpass it.” This from he who,  at age 12, worked out the the equivalent of many of Euclid’s geometrical theorems…..
JESUS CHRIST – THE MIDDLE WAY
Blaise Pascal 
Verse: Psalm 51:1
Have mercy on me, O God,

according to your steadfast love;

according to your abundant mercy

blot out my transgressions 
THE MEDITATION 
The God of the Christians is not a God who is simply the author of mathematical truths , or of the order of the elements, as is the god of the pagans and Epicureans.

Nor is he merely a God who providentially disposes the life and fortunes of men, to crown his worshipers with length of happy years.

Such was the portion of the Jews. But the God of Abraham, the God of Issac, the God of Jacob, the God of Christians, is a God of love and consolation, a God who fills the souls and hearts of his own, a God who makes them feel their inward wretchedness and his infinite mercy, who united himself to their inmost spirit, filling it with humility and joy, with confidence and love, rendering them incapable of any other end but himself.
All who seek God apart from Jesus Christ, and who rest in nature, either find no light to satisfy them, or form for themselves a means of knowing God and serving him without a mediator. Thus they fall either into atheism or deism, two things which the Christian religion almost equally abhors.
The God of Christians is a God who makes the soul perceive that he is her only good, that her only rest is in Him, her only joy in loving him, who makes her at the same time abhor the obstacles which withhold her from loving him with all her strength.

Her two hindrances, self-love and lust, are insupportable to her. This God makes her perceive that the root of self-love destroys her, and that he alone can heal.
The knowledge of God without that of our wretchedness creates pride. The knowledge of our wretchedness without that of God creates despair. The knowledge of Jesus Christ is the middle way, because in Him we find both God and our wretchedness.
Comments: Not too many for the message is self explanatory. Especially the last paragraph. But think about all the major issues triggering controversy in the Church today, and with great discerning you can locate the root of all of them in the central message of this meditation: that we need a mediator between sinful man and a Holy God.
And that mediator is Christ and Him Crucified – for the Salvation of  Muslims, Hindus, Sabbath or Sunday worshipers, quiet reflective  Church  or ‘ Holy Ghost rocking Church’, those who support Same sex marriage and those who do not, Atheists, Gay, Straight, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Barack Obama, Andrew Holness, the bus driver, the Uber taximan, the collector of Pokemon, UsainBolt, Serena Williams, The Pope,  Don Lemon, Anderson Cooper, Dionne Jackson-Miller, Cliff Hughes,  Bounty Killa, Beenieman,  the reckless driver, the murderous gunman, the killer of policemen, policemen who shoot black people with impunity and get away with it, The ISIS killers. 

For all have sinned and need to be reconciled to a God of Mercy.
That’s why God sent His Son, so that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
So please ‘ don’t make ghost fool you ‘ as we say in Jamaica, don’t ignore the shed Blood of Jesus, for perish you shall.  It may sound ‘ politically incorrect ‘, but  that’s the Gospel Truth. Whether you live in affluent Toronto or struggling to survive in  Kingston Jamaica.

Peace and remember to invite Jesus into your heart today.
Come into my heart Lord Jesus, there is room in my wretched heart for thee

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE NATIONAL ROAD SAFETY COUNCIL


Once  again  family members, friends,  colleagues, and an entire nation has been plunged into mourning following the tragic loss of six lives in the Bog Walk Gorge. And then the next day a young professional – graduated recently – also lost her life in a motor car crash.

To all of them on behalf of the lead agency, the NRSC, mandated by parliament to reduce deaths and injuries on our roads, we offer our heartfelt condolences.

The next question which then arises is  what can be done to prevent future loss of these precious lives on our roads?

I would suggest that as a nation we need to begin to, as a matter of urgency,  look very carefully at the Safe Systems approach which has been adopted by countries which have low road fatality rates. This is pursuit of an ideal which envisions that no one ought to die on the road! A way of thinking which compliments, but does not replace the ‘old’  approach of  using the ‘vaccines’, promoted by the World Health Organization, viz, Passing Legislation to prevent drinking and driving, to mandate the use of safety devices, and to cut speed on our roads.
Therefore the next hurdle to cross in Jamaica’s commitment to reduce the kind of tragedy which unfolded over the weekend is to do the following things.

– build Safe Roads, so that when, not if, people make mistakes, or even engage in extremely careless behaviour, they are not ‘ punished’ by injury or worse death. The Flat bridge tragedy brings into very sharp focus the need for this approach. For even though we need to, and intend to continue and even upgrade our public education campaigns, we must never again build a road where there are no protective rails which would have prevented even ‘mad driving’ from resulting in death. There are well respected institutions which will do an assessment of a nation’s roads – iRAP – assign a rating, and recommend a plan of action for the required upgrade. All of which costs money! But we have to decide what is our priority. Access or safety!

– Import Safe Vehicles. An issue which is very ‘live ‘ in Jamaica as we consider how to reduce the alarmingly high levels of motor cycle related deaths. Currently there are no standards to be enforced for those who import motor cycle parts and then reassemble them in Jamaica. In fact, no standards exist even for motor vehicle importation as well.  Again there is a well respected institution NCAP  – new car assessment program – which can assist us in this respect. 

– Legislate Safe Speeds, and Enforce them. Speeds limits which reduce the likelihood of serious injuries to  pedestrians, motor cyclists and occupants of vehicles in the event of a crash. A potentially contentious issue as the recommended safe speeds for when pedestrians and vehicles intersect is 20-30 kph. 

– Produce Safe Road Users through  Enforcement, Training, Public Education and Legislation. The woefully long overdue RTA Bill, when adopted into law, will play an important part in this aspect of the Safe Systems approach eg, hands free cell phone use (a compromised position, but a starting point nontheless); a new driver training system; suspension of licenses by the ITA for those who exceed the prescribed number of demerit points. There needs to be a ramped up initiative to encourage our people to take greater personal responsibility, and equip them so to do in respect of their driving habits. An issue which has been the topic of  widespread debate following the #TragedyintheGorge.
In addition to the above, a critical issue hampering safety on our roads is the impunity with which drivers break the rules of the road. Many of them are repeat offenders, and they get away with it. Too many times the end result is death or serious injury. Add to this the general indiscipline in the society and this is a recipe for disaster. To help to correct this situation the  glitches in the Traffic Ticketing System must be sorted out with great urgency. Driver behaviour will not improve if offenders can collect tickets like stamps. In some cases up to 900 tickets and even 1,500.
There is also the dire need to implement electronic surveillance in this country to significantly reduce red light running, speeding and improper lane changing. A policeman cannot be on every corner and we must use technology if we are to see increased compliance with the rules of the road.
So although there is no ‘silver bullet’ that can immediately prevent any further loss of lives on our roads, there are enough projects and proposed initiatives around which, if successfully implemented, can  make a difference. For many, those measures will be far too late. However, for other disasters,  ‘waiting to happen’, if we as a nation can find the political will to  take the hard decisions, and provide the necessary investment, who knows how many lives we can save in the future. No more escuses. The time to act is now if we are to reduce the pain and grief to families and friends and the cost to this nation!

Obama speaks about Evil: Jesus offers Himself 

​GM: SAVAGERY IN JAMAICA AND THE USA; PEACE IN CHRIST JESUS
The headlines of the #Gleaner day before yesterday,  captured in a single word, how much my country has changed, and the moral and social abyss into which it has descended. Savagery! 
This,  after a 3 year old was murdered and her lifeless and mangled body found by citizens in a rural and once peaceful parish in Jamaica.
The same vivid imagery could be applied to the death of the five officers killed in Dallas; and the two most recent cases of police brutality, where two black men were killed by white officers. And  which incident  sparked protest across the length and breath of the USA, even spreading to the UK, under the banner of #BlackLivesMatter.

Savagery!
An indictment on the inability of America to ‘ get it right’ in respect of race relationships. And an indictment on the political will to fix the crime problem in Jamaica which has led to this ‘ monster’ claiming the lives of young and old alike. Uptown but mostly downtown. Rural and urban folks alike.
In this context Dr. Brian Williams, the black head of the trauma team which tried desperately to save the lives of the officers is conflicted. As a surgeon he works well with white police officers and respects the difficult job they have. But as an ordinary black man driving in Dallas, he fears them on account of the negative experience he and many who look like him have had #CNN.
In the same way, we in Jamaica are conflicted. But in a different context. We desperately wan  to get rid of the crime monster, but are unable to agree on what extraordinary, or ‘ smart’,  measures ( for it cannot be the same old same old) to put in place .
Thus  the ‘ Savagery ‘ continues. And Shakespeare’s ‘ new widows’ continue to howl.
The Christian narrative however does not allow for any confusion, debate or conflict in respect of how God prepares and expect his followers to ‘bear fruit’ in the midst of this savage onslaught against those Who He created on His own likeness. That’s the clear message I received this week.
How did the this message flow? First of all an Old Testament revelation which ought to exercise our minds in this 21st century far more that it does. Lest we become presumptuous before a Holy God:
http://bible.com/1/jos.24.19.kjv And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord : for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.
Then a quiet welcomed, not eerie at all, assurance one night that ‘ I abide in you’. Followed by a leading  the next  morning to read this passage of Scripture:
http://bible.com/111/jhn.15.1-8.niv “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes  so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.     “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
And if that was not sufficient the Gospel reading in our Church for Sunday coming features the encounter of Martha and Mary, two sisters, with Jesus. And Jesus’ profound observation that Mary who decided to essentially ‘ abide with Him ‘, had done the correct thing. While Martha, the practical one, left herself open to ‘ distractions ‘. Luke 11:38-42
The point here is that, we cannot serve the Lord and build His Kingdom of Justice, Peace, Mercy, Love and  Righteousness in Christ Jesus unless we ‘ abide in Christ’. We cannot successfully fight against the kind of evil which has taken hold of our people, especially in the Western part of the island. A malevolent spirit of greed  which has  ensnared our people  led them into ‘ scamming ‘; and then all too often death, sometimes of an entire family, on account of envy or thieves falling out.

President Obama hit the nail on the head in a moving speech last evening when he said that ‘ we know that there

 is evil in the world.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/12/obama-dallas-memorial-five-officers-killed-protest-shooting?CMP=share_btn_tw
But his contact conclusion, ‘ that’s why we need the police’,  is only partly true; and deal with a very superficial understanding of evil. 
For the reason why our Lord and Savior Jesus died and was with the mighty power of the Holy Spirit raised from the dead, was to defeat Evil, Sin and Death. So no police or soldiers can offer us ultimate protection from Evil. For they too, as we have seen recently,  have to deal with their own demons. As we all do.

So Minister of National Security Robert Montague can threaten the criminals, as well he should, to bring all the power of the state against them. And Attorney General Marlene Malahoo-Forte can promise to use all means possible within the Constitution to deal with the criminals. And so she should even if faced with mounting opposition.

So too can the always eloquent and inspiring President Obama, and he was at his best last night  in Dallas at a prayer vigil held in honor of the five slain policemen, attempt to unify a divided country. And so he must.
But the reality is that, without the abiding presence of Christ directing and empowering our efforts, what the  Psalmist warns against will come to pass:
” Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain”.
A lesson that had stood the test of time. No wonder then that President Obama evoked the spirit of Ezekiel and asked the American people to pray for a ‘ new heart ‘.
For this is exactly what is required to save the lives of our three year girl children. People with a ‘ clean heart and a right Spirit ‘ within them. Not new policy directives in and by themselves alone. Not new or reinterpreted bits of legislation, in and by themselves alone. Not new initiatives to fix the social problems in and by themselves alone. Nor a combination of all three! But people, the Baptized of God, who abide in Christ and are not distracted by:
our desires and thoughts to fix things once and for all by our own strength and wisdom;

the seemingly insurmountable problems;

the failure of others to make a serious dent in the crime problem.
Then right beside the John 15 page was this meditation from one of the most prolific devotional writers ( over 240 publication), Andrew Murray, of all time.
WITHOUT ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING
Andrew Murray 
Verse: John 15:5
Without the vine the branch can do nothing. To the vine it owes its right of place in the vineyard, its life and its fruitfulness. 

And so the Lord says, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” The believer cab each day be pleasing to God only in that which he does through the power of Christ dwelling in him. The daily inflowing of the life-sap of the Holy Spirit is his only power to bring forth fruit. He lives alone in him and is for each moment dependent on him alone.

Without the branch the vine can also do nothing. A vibe without the  branches can bear no fruit. No less indispensable than the vine to the branch, is the branch to the vine. Such is the wonderful condescension of the grace of Jesus, that just as his people are dependent on him, he has made himself dependent on him.

Without his disciples he cannot dispense his blessing to the world….. This is the high honor to which he has called his redeemed ones, that as indispensable as he is to them in heaven, that from him their fruit may be found, so indispensable are they to him on earth, that through them his fruit may be found.

Believers meditate on this until your soul bows to worship in presence of the mystery of the perfect union between Christ and the believer.
One final thought and a passage of Scripture entered my mind. And is in keeping with the message in the  book I am reading and writing about. Rev. Timothy Keller’s ” Walking with God through Pain and Suffering”.
” Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

who, though he was on the form of God,

did not regard equally with God

as something to be exploited, 

but emptied himself……and became obedient to the point of death – even death on a Cross. ” Philippians 2:5-8.
So though Christ is in us doing His work so that we may bear fruit in the continued fight against Evil and Sin, two constant thoughts need to occupy our minds. Humility and Suffering. 
The first to remind us that God’s awesome power works through us not for our advantage, but to serve others who don’t know Christ and thus still live in the ‘ kingdom of darkness ‘. 

The second is to remind us that ‘ when we are weak then God’s power is strong ‘. And that in our persecutions and trials ‘ His Grace is sufficient ‘. And everything works for His Glory.
So armed with these revelations let is storm the throne of grace, and pray that the Lord will pour out His Holy Spirit afresh on His Church. And enable and empower His people to ‘ abide in Christ, so that power may flow out of us to heal a troubled nation and world.

Peace.

Whites killing Blacks, Blacks killing Whites and Jesus died that all might live

​GM: BREAKING NEWS OF HOPE FOR BLACKS AND WHITES IN AMERICA AND JAMAICA 
Martin Luther King Jnr. must be ‘ turning in his grave’. A thought which triggered a Tweet last night.
60 years after #IHadaDream black folks still having  nightmares become reality in the USA #BlackLivesStillMatter #PoliceLivesMatter
And at that time I had heard about ‘ two fallen officers’! This morning the #DailyGleaner with a banner headline, ” Time To Heal”,  ( in Dallas) reports that five cops died and seven were injured.
All of this coming against a background where, earlier this week, two black men, in two different American cities,  in possession of a licensed firearm, were, according to very moving eyewitness accounts, ‘ executed by white policemen.
Interestingly,  while in Jamaica,  many were posting comments on social media, in support of #blacklivesmatter,  a few others were pointing fingers at the Jamaican police force. And reminding us of the numerous cases of extrajudicial killings, and the deeply entrenched culture of abuse of ‘ poor black youths’.

Maybe #NationalHero #SamSharpe is also ‘turning in his grave’.
Yes,  we all agree with the statesman like speech that POTUS Obama made. Making the point that for the most part American police are good men who carry out their jobs professionally and fairly, but that a few others have a different agenda. Although  some might well argue,  cynically,  that the ratio is reversed in Jamaica, in respect to the approach to ‘ poor tires living in an inner city’. And which ‘ reality’ is fueling sentiments opposing the new government’s intention to ‘ interfere ‘ with the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Jamaican people. Even if that intention is in (hot) pursuit of the reduction of violent crime which is literally ‘ sucking the life blood’ of the nation. A dream that we all share in!
So did Martin Luther King Jr ‘ die in vain’? Were ( Rev) Sam Sharpe’s heroic efforts to free black people from bondage to white slave masters pointless? Are we to be ‘ policed’ by a new order, with a different agenda, and a more sinister dream. 
A major problem as Facebook exploded with comments of concern by mothers of young black men in the USA – and I have three grandsons and two sons, one married to my daughter the other married to my other daughter, living there. And a major problem for mothers living in #WrongAddresses in Jamaicalandwelove.
Not really! For despite all the heroic efforts of many freedom fighters over the centuries,  and human rights activists and social engineers and visionary leaders, a basic feature of life remains true. A fact captured in another Tweet last night.
Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says it differently is selling something – the Princess Bride. In the USA, in Jamaica #NeedJesus
This came as I continued my bedtime reading of Rev. Timothy Keller’s classic Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering. 
And being reminded of the essence of the Christian message that a ” Sovereign but yet  Suffering God” revealed Himself on the Cross of Calvary. Where He died and was raised from the dead, so that Suffering Humanity might have a new Life. And have it more abundantly in this life and the next.
A narrative that triggered a fiery sermon by my Rector, Rev. Sirano Kitson, last Sunday. Calling us to proclaim the power and love of God in a world of ‘ breaking news’. To proclaim Hope in a world of Hopelessness – the worse thing that can happen to anyone or to a Nation.
For, my words, all that Martin Luther King jr and Sam Sharpe did was to be obedient to Christ who called them to proclaim the Good News in their time. And He who began a good work in them will bring it to completion one day – a verse from Holy Scriptures.
And the Good News is that Dallas and  other flashpoints in the USA and in Kingston Jamaica ( a young girl battling for life when police shot up an illegal taxi, allegedly fleeing from them) will only experience True  Healing in and through Christ. Otherwise there are going to be many other ‘ long hot summers ‘ ahead.
So Christians, black young men included, and their mothers, in the USA and in Jamaica, need to fortify themselves with prayer and a desire to ‘ live in the secret place of the most High God’. For the God we serve has called us not only to believe on  Him, but to suffer with Him also.
To suffer: 
 For the Redemption of white and black ‘ off message ‘ policemen in America, in Jamaica and across the world. 
For the Redemption of ‘ off message’  politicians! For the Redemption of  ‘ off message’ fathers in inner cities, where trouble often begins. 
For the Redemption of  business people who have not received the memo that ‘ righteousness exalts a nation but sin…paying people low wages….tax avoidance….human trafficking especially of young vulnerable poor girls….grooming young girls….is a reproach to a Nation.

In the same way that Martin Luther King jr and Sam Sharpe and others did. 
So in spite of the many joys and beautiful moments that life  had to offer, the truth is that since the ‘Fall of Adam’, all hell has broken loose on earth. Part of which ‘ Pain ‘, emerged dramatically in the USA last week. And in Jamaica the week before! And will soon happen again! And again.
So yes Life is Pain and anyone who has a different narrative, even if it is  clothed in Christian garb, don’t believe it. Even if it comes on TV, or is promoted by Google! For if there is no suffering, Christ is not in it.
For it is the Pain of human suffering that carried Him to the Cross. And in Him we know that God truly loves us. Sinful mankind! And hence we are called to reveal that same love to Suffering Humanity. To those who are murdered and to those who murder.
So as I was reminded last night in a meditation from Oswald Chambers, 

‘ Choose ye today who you will serve’.To whom will ye be loyal. To the Suffering Savior or to your idea of God.

Truly then :
In times like these we need a Saviour.

Be very sure, your anchor holds and grips the solid Rock Who is Jesus 

Peace.