Grace Communion International

…and another thing  by John Stettaford

It’ll soon be time for the end-of-year fireworks in London and Edinburgh. And yet it only seems like yesterday when last year’s fireworks burst skywards. Time seems to move ever faster.

I suppose, when you think about it, a year for a one-year old is its whole life, whereas for, say, a 50-year old, it’s a 50th of its life. I’m always taken by surprise by how time seems to fly by and I have less time, it seems, to complete whatever task I had set myself.

I think this is true for the world as it is for each individual. Looking out at the state of this world, I am constantly amazed that it continues to stagger along. What with all the political shenanigans, even just of this nation, but also, looking at the international scene, there’s pretty much chaos all around the globe. Malta, for example, has lost its government; and Israel now is to have another election following the failure of the warring parties to agree on a coalition. The US seems to be heading for an impeachment of its president, and so it goes, country by country.

And then the earth itself seems in similar chaos and unrest. What with volcanoes in unlikely places exploding, earthquakes happening in unlikely place, including Kent, flooding and extreme temperatures—this is a troubled world.

Then there’s other problems. Ebola continues pretty much out of control in Africa. The latest there is that rebel troops massacred a medical team treating victims. But then other problems are coming nearer to home. There is a tick that has been detected for the first time in the UK. This injects into its victims, and the resulting sore goes on to become flesh-eating. Stopping it is at present very difficult, and those who eventually achieve clearance, end up with permanent wounds and scars.

Then there’s pollution. Pity poor Sydney in Australia, where out-of-control forest fires are causing a permanent haze over the city. Inhabitants are advised to stay indoors or wear face masks. It’s as bad as walking along one of London’s busiest arteries. And yet Australia is thought of as a land of wide-open spaces and fresh air.

The Book of Hebrews tells us that all of creation, including our world, is groaning and in pain, waiting for the sons of God to be revealed. That’s us, brethren. This world, to solve all its problems, needs us. At present we are dismissed as irrelevant, but we are actually essential for this world to survive. Maybe, if we took that on board, just how important we are for this world’s future and future well-being, we’d concentrate just that little bit harder on the job in hand—of walking daily ever more closely with our God. Maybe we’d realise more acutely the importance of our prayer, for others as well as for ourselves. Experts think electric cars are to be our salvation, or planting more trees, or becoming vegetarians. When the only long-term solution to this world’s ills—all of them, no matter what is involved—is us, and more particularly, of course, the return of Jesus Christ.

We think of him as our Saviour, but he is also to be the saviour of this world, this universe, whatever the short-fall. And we will be there having a part in his saving work and making a difference.

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