So they did the natural thing and went to her assistance. But, without warning, and with clear intent, a gunman suddenly appeared and fired a hail of bullets. At the end, one of the
" Good Samaritans" lay dead. And the other two in shock wondered how they had escaped death. This report in the newspapers this week touched my very soul as once again it demonstrated how cheap life has become in my country. Yes life is cheap in Syria also. And continues be so in the USA and other countries. But my God, how long, how long before this comes to an end!
The debate continues in my country concerning the departure of the President of the Senate - our Upper House where laws passed in the lower House, where elected representatives sit, come for final approval - to " greener pastures" in Canada. Ought he not to have known that this change in status was imminent and declined this prestigious appointment? What signal does his move to "secure a better life for his family", send to the struggling masses left behind? Should he have told the Prime Minister? And if he did, should the PM have appointed him. A debate on these ethical principles and matters of governance took the nation by storm this week. As did the Minister of Education's policy decision to limit the amount of teachers going on paid study leave and his declaration against the distribution of condoms in schools. Sex education yes! Condoms no!.
Finally, not on CNN, or on BBC or trending Twitter, but of great significance to millions across the world, is the fact that in many Christian Traditions, today we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost - the birthday of the church. And as one young, just leaving his teens, but very discerning, man, observed, " what would have happened if the early disciples of Christ had opted not to spread the gospel"? Makes you wonder doesn't it? A world without the Christian tradition, without Christian values, without Christian inspired universities and schools, hospitals and clinics, churches and volunteer organizations, without the Christian ethic. Without the teaching of, " being your brother's keeper"; forgiving others as Christ forgive you; loving your enemies, and those who persecute you; its better to give than to receive; of delayed gratification; of denying one's self; of eternal life, and therefore death is not the end but in Christ, entry into another and better life where there are no tears.... Without the the teaching of the " inherent value of each human being made in the image likeness of God; without the freedoms which are taken for granted in western democracies; without the the quest for justice for all and the concept of natural justice. Makes you wonder doesn't it? So we thank God for sending the gift of the Holy Spirit, Who alone inspires and empowers the Christian church to spread the Gospel - the good news that Christ died for the sins of all mankind. And to do good, in the power and love of God.
So what then did the God of the Christian Church speak about this week?
First of all, a message sent to a journalist, and others, to whom the Lord has been speaking in and through this medium, about not hardening your heart when He speaks. Which is really the case throughout the ages that the Church has been in existence. Hence the kind of wickedness which is now so pervasive in my country, and others, where people made in the image and likeness of God are murdered with impunity and with little fear of being caught. But God sees and knows and will act one day in His own time. As those who have the privilege of shaping the minds and values in a society, have a particular responsibility, and therefore will be judged more harshly. So they need to know the Word of God. Therefore the Lord speaks. And speaks. And speaks.
As they (used to say) in Angola...a luta continua. Another message for you this morning as the struggle continues for your soul. Why? I am just being obedient. In any case it's not just for you alone. The message yesterday did not come out of thin air. There is a context, as the Lord woke me up early Sunday morning to read the Prophetic Word of Isaiah and in particular the predicted judgement against Egypt and Cush and Tyre and even Jerusalem. The point of which, was that those who consistently disobeyed God were in terrible danger of being subject to God's wrath. In the same way, anyone who is not in Christ, not covered by the Blood of the Lamb, is in imminent danger. Peril! That's the sum total of all reality. Everything else, all of life's many and varied activities, is all secondary. The reporting of the news! The announcement of policy! The debate on breast feeding! The plans for the summer! The rise in the value of stocks in the USA! The departure of Fergie from Man U.
The only reality is whether or not we belong to the family of God. So the Lord sent an invitation by way of a song we sang in church on Sunday.