I don’t know about you but sometimes life can be so overwhelming! A quick look at the recent news shows the drought in the UK and the recent dam burst in Ukraine and Russia affecting huge crops which source over 40% of the worlds wheat. It’s not just the damage to crops but also the loss to life and livelihood. This then gets me pondering on the looming global food shortages and the number of children in the UK living in food poverty which has doubled over the last year to nearly 4 million. The rise of the cost of living affecting all of us globally and not mention the number of cases of seasonal viruses have tripled. These realities are shocking and can easily make any person feel anxious and fearful. So I took these concerns to Jesus Christ our Lord in prayer, asking for practical responses to these concerns and what we can do as a church in response collectively and individually.
I am pleased to say that SPSJ we have made a commitment to be an Eco Church and have responded in practical ways through the Eco Hub, Messy Church, charitable giving to overseas partners and through our response to the war in Ukraine. At SPSJ we have also partnered with other local organisations that are helping people and families in poverty. One example is the Living Room, based on Commercial Road, who support anyone with a huge range of things, including help tackling food waste from supermarkets and creating a food larder for the community.
This has gotten me thinking about the practical things I can do at home as a response to my concerns- the actions I can take. But what about our spiritual response to all of the above? We as a church family can also respond by delving into the Bible and in prayer privately and collectively. So in my prayers over the last week I felt a prompting from the Spirit to get into His word and this scripture was highlighted to me:
2 Chronicles 7:13-14 (NIV) – 13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
I felt that there were a few keys in this scripture as our response: firstly, knowing that we are the people of God through Jesus Christ. Secondly that we need to come to Him with humility and reverence, thirdly to pray and fourthly to seek His face and finally to turn from our wicked ways. If we do this God will also respond and move; He will then hear from heaven, forgive our sins and heal the land. It seems so simple! Please join us at Soul Space to pray together, eat together, so we can grow in faith that can move mountains, open the heavens, heal the land and bring revival.
So in conclusion let’s not forget the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:14-16 - 14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
We are called as ambassadors of Christ Jesus to be the light set on a hill to minister to the dark world around us, to pray for, be an example of forgiveness and grace, offer practical support and be the difference to a lost and broken world. We as a church and ambassadors of Christ are called to improve the conditions of our communities and individuals around us.
So how can you respond this week to the darkness and concerns around you? How are you going to pray and be the light so Jesus may be glorified? Amen.