“and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”
Peter encouraged us to embark on the Armour of God theme back in the summer but to view it with the eyes of the Church and not as individuals.
I was born and brought up in Bromley. The town centre is built up of 1960’s and 1970’s office blocks. Ugly and, grey.
When I went back in the late 1990’s as a Christian the 1960’s and 1970’s towers had largely been pulled down and replaced with more classical but modern buildings.
The Holy Spirit told me that he would pull down the morality of the 1960’s and 1970’s and replace it with his Word. I’m still waiting for this to be fulfilled. The moral issues have become significantly worse and people have moved further away from the cultural heritage of Christianity.
It is not difficult to look around us and be depressed at the pain and suffering.
The spectre of death is looming larger than ever every day.
Disagreements have become polarised, even between friends and family, often with a shocking level of hostility. It is often blamed on social media but for me the issue runs right though the heart of mankind. That is where the battle should be fought.
We are called to interpret the times we live in. What do we do about it? How can we be fully prepared?
1.Address the difficulties with tenacity. As individuals, don’t give up meeting together and as a church, reach out to society. Food bank, debt help, church planting.
2.Speak the truth in love. As a church we teach grace, as individuals we act in grace. Forgiveness in action.
What are the dangers we could fall into?
1.We lose hope and compromise on doctrine to please others
2.We withdraw from society
3.Become combative. Paul encourages us to “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3
Where is the hope?
1.The global church is growing. A typical Christian now would be African or Chinese not European or North American.
2.Jesus said “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” Matthew 16:18.
3.The secular humanistic philosophy of the last 60 years is not satisfying the hunger in the heart and spirit of people around us. Non-Christians are starting to say that the mess we are in might be because we have turned our backs on God and the bible for an atheist “religion” based on the individual being the centre of the universe and not God.
Spectator article: “Back in early 2019, my wife discovered that she was pregnant with our fourth child. A few weeks later, we discovered that the child, a girl, had Down Syndrome. The NHS asked if we wanted to abort her. We did not. My wife, brave and stoic, soon accepted the news as a blessing. I wanted to do the same, but I felt shocked and scared and morally inadequate.
How bad would her disability be? How would our other children cope? How would we cope? Would the rest of our lives be spent looking after this child? I spent a lot of time worrying. I took to praying and, as I pondered the matter, a line from Pope Benedict XVI kept repeating itself in my head:
‘We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.’ “
1.Pray for opportunities to show grace to people around you. Share stories to raise faith too.
2.Pray for our nation.
3.Pray that the nation is restored to a country that is aware of the positive, long lasting effect Christianity has had.
4.Pray for leaders to be raised up who stand up for Godly ways of acting and against the destruction of human dignity.