I don’t see his face. I know he is wearing a blue shirt and shorts, I guess he is about 10 or 12 and I think he is thin. Why do I know so little about him? Because he is just in the edge of my vision. I am walking quickly out of the shopping mall amidst a cloud of boys. They are asking for dinero (money). I am feeling stressed – are these guys genuine or were they sent out to beg by gang leaders? Or is that just my excuse not to stop, to give, to get involved? He isn’t asking for money, just lying on the floor, perhaps the poorest of them all. I don’t know.Read more
May God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine on us. So that Your way may be known on the earth, your salvation among all nations. Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for you will judge the peoples with uprightness, and guide the nations on the earth. Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You. The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us. God blesses us, so that all the ends of the earth may fear Him.Psalm 67
A French nun stood in front of the burning Cathedral and said that it was only a building; the church of God is people. In Sri Lanka a few days later over two hundred of those people died. As words came from politicians that Notre-Dame must be restored, millionaires rushed forward with offers of large sums of money. No millionaires rushed forward to support the suffering families of Sri Lankans or to rebuild their churches. From Sri Lanka there were only pictures of coffins being carried to graves and even the number of the dead was uncertain. The Western press had pictures and stories of tourists who had died, but the Sri Lanka Christians remained anonymous. Notre-Dame survived the fire. No lives were lost. Sentiment was high that this symbol of France, the testament to a nation’s lost faith, must be a continuing part of Paris life. In Sri Lanka perpetrators were pursued, security chiefs resigned, churches were closed and tourists warned away. Paris resumed normal life and the causes of the accident were sought. The Sri Lanka victims are still dead.Read more
If I said the words “extreme faith” to you, what would spring to mind?
A missionary leaving behind their home to go to an unreached part of the world? A terrorist bomber? The title of a Christian conference?
In our wider culture, faith to the extreme has become a no-go zone. Radical religion is socially awkward at best and dangerous at worst.
We live in a world which says there is no God, he does not care, he has forgotten, he will never see it. Post-Christian Britain.
In this world without absolute moral standard, those who are born into poverty can be crushed. Selfish desires rule, and the oppressed are stepped on. The poor are drawn into nets of debt, and cannot escape on their own.
Does this sound dystopian? Perhaps a little OTT?
Go and have a quick read of Psalms 9 and 10.
These Psalms recount a single Hebrew acrostic poem of David, and move from a foundational worldview to a highly personal and individual plea.