Over recent weeks we have been reminded by other contributors that we owe much to those who have gone before – the early missionaries in Scotland that Tim has been describing and those folks who were part of our fellowship here at SSCB whom Joan remembered recently. Through them we can trace our history back to a cross and a resurrection in Jerusalem.
Sue and I have recently been reading through Isaiah’s prophecy, full of familiar words of encouragement and prophetic vision of a new order and rest for God’s people. But if you read the whole book it is set against a much darker background – a people who had lost their way. A stark reminder that God’s ways are not our ways. It is too easy to compromise our trust in God when the world shouts alternatives.
“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,’
declares the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8)
If we are to follow the footsteps of those who have gone before we must learn from them. We must be distinct, discerning and deliberate in our interactions with this world. But we must also expect God to act to establish his kingdom and to keep his people in ways which we don’t imagine – Assyria conquered and Persia restored the people of God. They were heathens! Kentigern was born to a single mum, those we remember from our own past have surprising legacies.
So, what do we need to change this week so we follow God’s way, not our own? Remember the church in Laodicea (listen carefully on Sunday!)! The saints of old we noted earlier were not lukewarm! Are we taken in by the false prophets of consumerism, or are we prepared to be different, to stand against those who look first to ‘modern thinking’ and to heathen allies in seeking to take forward God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
[from John Baggaley]