When God promises us peace, he doesn’t mean that he will make all our problems go away. In fact, when Jesus told his disciples that he was giving them his peace, he also said, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
When news of the coronavirus broke in March, I did not expect the shutdown to last for more than a month. I assumed life would bounce back to normal soon, and that my plans for the year would remain mostly intact. I was wrong.
Today we live in times that none of us were prepared for. The unexpected turn of events, the unmeasurable waves of grief, and uncertain times that lie ahead of us. In the midst of all this chaos – the one question that everyone is trying to answer is, “How do we respond? How do we live well?”.
The best race I’ve ever run in my life was the 1500 metres in the 1991 “Mussoorie Olympics”, an inter-school competition held in Wynberg Allen School, Mussoorie. I was running alongside many runners, but also against the reigning champion who was a shoo-in to win.
As we read through the gospels, we find that there are times when Jesus makes a claim about Himself but then also goes on to call those that follow him to live up to that claim themselves. One example is when Jesus says “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12) but also goes on to say to those following Him “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14)
In the Bible, right at the end of John’s gospel, you find an interesting dialogue between Peter and Jesus. Jesus, in effect, commands Peter to feed the sheep of God. Now this, among other verses, has become one of the hallmark verses when defining the role of the pastor of a Church.
There’s a new Bible plan that I’ve been reading, about being less offendable. I wanted to search my heart for pride and self-righteousness and try to channel my feelings and thoughts into something sustainable. It’s a superb study. It’s insightful, convicting and most importantly, rooted in Biblical truth.
Let’s face it; we’ve all been thrown for a toss. Our jobs, routines, studies, sleep patterns, livelihoods, right down to the way we interact with people. Our relationships have probably been through the wringer throughout this season, the season we call THE LOCKDOWN.
The psalmist is talking about the nations that had been made subject to Israel and were now scheming to free themselves from Israel’s rule. He warns them that their rebellion was not simply against Israel but against God, as God was the ultimate ruler of Israel.
“Do you feel valued by your organisation?” That’s what a friend asked me as I was leaving my job. My immediate answer was God seemed to be calling me towards something specific, and I had no complaints with my organisation. But the word “value” kept churning within me.
The pews are empty today. Dust covers the altar. Cobwebs drape the stained glass. Silence shrouds the parish grounds. There’s no ringing of the bell. No calls to worship. No ushers waiting at the door. No band doing warmups backstage. No smell of coffee wafting through the foyer.