Sunday, April 21, 2013

Boston, Syria, Jamaica and Divine Intervention

Copley Square is in the heart of Boston city. So my wife tells me, having spent a few weeks there some time ago during a training course. And that's how she became a Boston Celtics fan. I know of at least two Anglican Priests who went to Cambridge for post graduate  training,  en route to becoming Bishops. And their wives went with them for a time. Then this week all hell broke loose there! And so we became privy to the finest details of all the circumstances surrounding the Boston Marathon bombing,  mourned for the victims, wondered what went wrong in the minds of those two brothers and realized that this world was becoming smaller and smaller, and more and more dangerous.

While all of this was taking place in the USA, with CNN placing all its focus on Boston, a ticker tape running at the bottom of the screen today, quietly announced that 586 person had died in one single day in Syria. Now Syria is a place we read about a lot in the Bible, and has been in the news for some time because of the civil war taking place there. So we were not unaware about the carnage taking place in that nation. But so many in one day. Have mercy! And they have no equivalent of CNN there to inform us about the gruesome details and therefore the impact on the rest of the world is not nearly as great as it is in Boston where 3 persons died and many more were injured. What a world we live in and are about to bequeath to our children and 

This week for me, was one of walking with a Prince, literally, and being in the company of a  Prime Minister, a Governor General and the Leader of the Parliamentary Opposition,  and other senior leaders in my country as were  host to the cousin of Queen Elizabeth 11, HRH Prince Michael of Kent. An internationally acclaimed road safety advocate,  who came to celebrate with us, the Jamaica  national Road Safety Council, on the occasion of  our 20th year as a National 
Institution. How did we meet a Prince? In Costa Rica, via Chile, and then in Moscow.  How come? By simply a twist of fate or by Divine Intervention. I believe the latter.  Suddenly the world has in fact gotten much smaller indeed.

So in the midst of all this madness and celebration, what did the Lord say, through his Word, and " beyond the sacred page" as one of my Bishops likes to say.

First of all this matter of " Divine Intervention"  came up again. A debate which , in the language of the journalists,
 " continues to have legs" , continues to be current, ever since the Minister of National Security in my country, raised it during a speech at a church service. The context was the recent  rash of murders, the circumstances surrounding these murders, and his efforts and that of hard working members of the Police Force to date to deal with it. And his conclusion was that, despite all what has been tried, the madness continues, and so he declared that only " Divine Intervention" could solve the murder problem in Jamaica, and went on the outline what he meant by that, including galvanizing the entire society around this major national issue. As expected, many have taken him to task for even raising the issue of Divine Intervention, concluded that he was out of his depth and have been calling for his removal.

Now, even the most casual observer could not fail to note, that as with the tragedy in New Town Connecticut, during the Inter-faith service for the victims of the bombing in Boston, President Obama reached for the Scriptures for words of comfort for the American people. And so it is against this background, I believe that the Lord sent this early morning message, and I in turn sent it to a group of people including some journalists and government ministers to whom I have been writing about the " Correct faith". The question is, is it only Jamaica that needs Divine Intervention, or in fact the whole world?


This morning whilst praising the Lord in my devotions and reflecting on words of that great hymn:
Praise my soul, the King of heaven....and in particularly the words:

....ransomed, healed , restored forgiven,
who like me his praise should sing; 

I began thinking about this matter of "Divine Intervention". And realized it's not a small matter.
In fact in the eyes of the Lord it may very well be a defining  moment in the life of this nation and raises the question " In whom do we trust". Ourselves as individuals, our collective will and power as a nation? The Police Force, the JDF, the resources at  our various Universities, the collective power of the Private Sector, the power of the State, the power of the media, the financial power of the IMF and the bi-laterals,  Petro-Caribe? Who!

And for those Christians in the media and in government, in whom do you place your trust?
When you go to bed at night! When you send off your children to wherever! When you fall ill?
When you worship in church?  Apart from being the prism through which society learns of and understands news events, when do you take a personal stand like the proverbial dog when his master is being attacked. When do you defend him. As this is not just about Bunting and his competence, or his resolve. Listen carefully to the response of the secularists, those who do not trust in the God of Gideon. "There is no divine intervention that is going to rescue Jamaica, so let's get on with the job and fight the criminals other countries have done" . 

Which by the way, is precisely what Bunting was saying, but he contextualized  the struggle in which all have a role to play, in this now very controversial statement .

Why describe God as the God of Gideon?  Because the story of Gideon serves as a powerful example for understanding the relationship between God and man.

" Early in the morning, Jeru-Baal ( that is, Gideon) and all his men camped at the spring of Harod. The camp of Median was north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. The Lord said to Gideon, " You have too many men for me to deliver Median into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own  strength has saved her, announce now to the people........" Judges 7:1-3 NIV

Perhaps it's time for us as individuals, who go to church Sunday after Sunday, to decide like for me and my house we will serve the whom do we place our trust?
As that is the issue which has been raised by Bunting whether we perceive it or not. I would suggest, very humbly, that this is no ordinary news item to be analyzed and discussed by other persons. But an opportunity that the Lord has provided for us to decide if indeed,  we have been " ransomed, healed, restored and forgiven", only, only by divine intervention. In the Name of Jesus Christ in Nazareth, the crucified and risen Savior. Amen

sent by my iPad

Comment: The motto " In God we trust " appears on  one of the bills  or coins n the USA. Every contender for the office of President of the USA always closes his or her speeches by  exhorting " God to bless America".  What does this really mean. Do they remember,as we should that the God to whom they send their prayers and exhortations is the same God who told the children of Israel through the prophet Gideon that His Sovereign will is that He should get all the praise and glory and honor. And not the Minister of National Security , nor the President of the USA, or Prince Michael or Queen Elizabeth 11, nor Margaret Thatcher, nor Nelson Mandela!
Perhaps we need to meditate on he words of hymn we use in the Anglican Church as we celebrate holy Communion.

Here O my Lord I see thee face to face......and then the last verse which says;

I have no other help but thine; nor do  I need
another arm save thine to lean upon:
it is enough, my Lord, enough indeed,
my strength is in thy might, thy might indeed.

The Second one came just yesterday. Again as I was conducting my devotions in the early morning, the following message came to me. And I sent it out again to some journalists, but a smaller number this time.


David sinned greatly with Bathsheba. Saul sinned also. Both were confronted God's prophets. Nathan and Samuel. One was restored and became even greater. The other lost his crown forever. What was the difference between the two Kings? Saul tried to justify himself, to  explain away his sin of disobedience, whilst David repented immediately. And out of that experience, he  wrote Psalm 51,  which has helped so many persons who have sinned greatly to repent.
Repent and be restored today, for as in the days of Noah, and in our present " Boston" times, you never can tell what the day will bring.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device from LIME.

 Comment: My country continues to  debate  the moot,  " who run tings: God or man" ! Who is in charge?  In whom do we trust? Who should we obey?  The sad thing is that this debate has been ongoing for Millenia. As this is the very same issue which Satan raised with Adam. Did  God really say that? Did He really mean that you should not eat of the fruit of the tree of life?  And consequently, it took Divine Intervention, borne out of Divine love, for the debate to end.  On the Cross of Calvary!  When by the Blood of Jesus " every stain of sin, every stain of rebellion",  was washed away and cleansed by the Blood of Jesus. And until, and unless, as a people, as a nation, and  as a world we accept the verdict on the cross, the madness in Boston and in Syria, and in Jamaica will continue. Regardless of whether Presidents, Kings or Prime Ministers or journalists think otherwise. For the world is indeed a very small place in its destiny is in the hands of the Sovereign God of  Abraham,, of Gideon and of Jesus Christ of Nazareth - the Crucified and Risen Lord.

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