February 2009

Doing New Things

Looking forward into 2009 it is easy to be pessimistic. The economy is contracting – perhaps after the years we have all gained from living off borrowing, the chicken has come home to roost and the debts have to be repaid. As the economy shrinks, jobs become scarcer and those who depend on the interest of their savings find their investments bring in next to nothing.

The war between Israel and Palestinian Gaza drags on – though I hope and pray by the time you read this – it is over and we are ‘only’ counting the cost and doing the post-mortems both figuratively and literally.

Zimbabwe seems to be in terminal decline with little real prospect of resolving the political problems, let alone the economic and humanitarian ones. What about Congo, Sudan, Iraq etc….

Fear of crime and terrorism remain high, people feel unsafe in their homes – even though it appears crimes rates are falling and Rayleigh has low rates to start with.

With the general pessimism in our community and country, it is easy to believe that our glasses are half empty.

'See I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

Isaiah 43:19

It takes faith to look at the signs of the times and see that something more is happening, that what we see – however real and painful and distressing they may be – is only part of the picture. That God is working in and through and despite all that we see and feel and experience.

2009 might bring many a shock; it might bring many a problem. But 2009 might also be a time of God working his purpose out, weaved through the distress and pain.

And if we continue to be faithful to God, in both words and actions, we as a church and as individuals might find that there is more. Perhaps by God’s grace, our glasses aren’t even full, they are overflowing.

I wonder what God has in store for us?

David

February 2009