Spent part of this afternoon in prayer, which I began by listening to Katie Melua`s version of “What a wonderful world” and reflected on how beautiful the world is but how spoilt it also is.
This week our hearts have gone out to the people of Boston, accompanied by our prayers for London tomorrow, the people of Waco after their factory fire, we have seen the return of football violence (thankfully not as bad as in the `70s and `80s), the passing and funeral of Margaret Thatcher has stirred up old emotions of hatred amongst people. In my own town of Consett many remember how she presided over the closure of the main industry in the town (the steel company) and over the pit closures in the surrounding towns.
Scripture reminds us that when God created the world it was just as it was meant to be, a place not only of natural beauty but of inner beauty as well where people would live in harmony. Now much of the natural beauty can still be seen in the Derbyshire Peaks, the Grand Canyon, and similar places, but sadly there seems to be a loss of the inner beauty amongst people.
Why is there such hatred, prejudice and evil lying in the hearts of people ? I think it was Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the Russian writer who
wrote “the division of evil from good runs not through the centre of states but through the centre of every human heart”. I feel that he spoke with such wisdom and we`ve seen the effects this week.
Regularly in Church meetings I hear the cry “how can we get people into Church ?” as if that equates to doing Christ`s work. No if we are to see the establishment of His Kingdom then it isn’t about packing out buildings but it is about changing hearts and lives. Christ came so that we can have a loving relationship with him and others, for that’s the changing factor and that’s what will change this world. The evils of distrust etc will always struggle in the face of true love. The evils of warfare and bombing will disappear when people learn to trust each other and support each other.
Surely God wants his creation restored to how he first intended: Christ came to deal with it; we are called to follow Him and allow it to happen in our own lives and in the lives of those around us, but it must start with us.
I was very disappointed to see how many Christians jumped ont he bandwagon of hate and vitriol over the death of Thatcher. I didn`t like the womans policies, I saw too many people suffer because of them, but a colleague remarked on Facebook that the best way to respond wasn’t in protest or street parties but to do something that would make for better community, charity work, caring for neighbours etc. And that is what building the Kingdom is about, the bringing of peace, care, compassion, love through communities.
So my question to myself and to others is this……
“What have I/you done to improve the world around us and bring about its restoration ?”