With Church doors open again and visitors welcome into our Oasis of Prayer it was no surprise to hear the old familiar grumble: “Why does God let it happen?” Have you ever thought that if we did as God said many of those things wouldn’t happen?
What we don’t want to happen is the brutality and cruelty; corruption and abuse that is damaging the world. God doesn’t want it either. In fact, God sent us a Manuel written in human flesh and blood to show us how to save the world. I was speaking to a friend on the phone last week though and he said how it’s a waste of time reading the instruction manuals that accompany the do it yourself flat packs because they are written by engineers for engineers. Ordinary people can’t understand them. God’s DIY save the world manual is simple to understand AND do!
We read how “the Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us” (John 21: 14) but there is a fundamental reality about any word: it needs to be heard or read to have an effect! So God has a word of advice for us all: “Listen to my Son with whom I am well pleased.” ( Matthew 17: 5) If we listen and read together we can help save the world.
God produced all the good things, but gets the blame for all the damage and pain that we cause. God didn’t make the clock, but gave us time for each other. God didn’t make war, but blessed us with peace to share. God didn’t say to be angry, but commanded us to love. God didn’t approve of taking revenge, but commended forgiveness. Add some of your own God says but we do statements.
God didn’t look at what was created and think it was bad, but saw it was good. And God wants to save what was good.
So, who caused the pollution that suffocates life and causes so much sickness? Who abuses what is so precious and causes great pain? A Word of advice has been sent with love from heaven to earth so why don’t we listen and help save God’s wonderful world? That’s foolish talk, people argue, so we follow the wisdom of the world and wonder why, or why, does God allow it all to happen? I’m taking the foolish option….!
If for no-one else it was worth being open for Charlotte and Matthew, a couple from Chelmsford, on Saturday afternoon. They wanted to pray before walking to Broadway Tower and half an hour later they were back because they missed the turning for the Cotswold Way. They felt the power of the Spirit in what really was like a prayer oasis for them and I promised we would pray for them. We might never see them again but may they continue to feel spiritually refreshed by their visit.
There was the conversation with the woman outside who said that she didn’t need to go into a Church building to pray because she could smell God in her garden; hear God in the sounds of nature and see God in the people around her…. Indeed, God is everywhere. The important thing about prayer is not where or when or how, but that it is a conversation with God for anywhere and anytime. We weren’t having our conversation IN the building but because the doors were open we met each other on the benches and shared some spiritual refreshment!
God Bless, Richard