Message from John Woodhouse – 22 March

 

Dear friends

There are times (I am sure you have known them) when it is difficult to be concerned about the troubles of the world. When the troubles in my little life overwhelm me, I have little energy left to lift my eyes to the “big” problems with global dimensions. When I can hardly cope with my personal crises, how can I care about the disasters facing the human race? A concern about one of my children (nowadays grandchildren) can drive out all anxiety about the future of the planet.

This applies in a strange way to the extraordinary times in which we find ourselves. I suspect that the more anxious we may be about ourselves and those close to us, the less we are inclined to think about the bigger picture.

The Christian life is extraordinary, and often difficult for unbelievers to understand. On the one hand Christians are confident that Jesus Christ is the Lord of all things (in the literal sense of ALL THINGS!), who has done what is necessary for God’s good purpose for the whole creation to be realized. We therefore do not despair at the terrible mess the world is in. We care, but we do not lose heart. We pray to the one who will one day bring peace an d safety everywhere by the power of Christ’s death and resurrection, and we get to work joyfully serving him with all the energy he gives us (see Colossians 1:15-29). On the other hand Christians know that the Lord Jesus Christ cares about the ordinary things of our everyday lives. The same power that will heal a broken world is at work healing broken lives (see Colossians 3:1-17). The hope of the world is my hope.

That is what the Bible powerfully teaches us, and Christian faith wonderfully experiences. What a privilege it is to learn the scope of the Lord Jesus Christ’s concerns: from the words that come out of my mouth (Colossians 3:8) to the harmony of heaven and earth (Colossians 1:20); from family relationships (Colossians 3:18-21) to the stability of the universe (Colossians 1:17). The secret of the Christian life is the extraordinary and unbounded goodness of our Lord Jesus Christ that touches everything (in the literal sense of EVERYTHING!)

He is the King who we know to be “the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24; cf. Colossians 2:3). As we learn to trust him to bring “justice” (in the sense of things put right) not only to the whole creation, but to our little lives, we are learning to be wise with the very wisdom of God (see Ephesians 1:17; Colossians 1:9, 28; 3:16; James 1:5; 3:13, 17).

Your brother in the Lord Jesus Christ
John Woodhouse (Acting Senior Minister)