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Walking purposefully - Pastor's pen for 3rd September 2023

Napier Port from Westshore, Chilly August Morning

Psalm 138 encourages me with the words;

'Though I walk in the midst of trouble,

you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies;

you stretch out your hand,

and your right hand delivers me.

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;

your steadfast love, O Lord, endures for ever.

Do not forsake the work of your hands.' (v 7-8)

Christians observe the crises in the world, and experience trouble in their own lives, but can still walk purposefully through faith in Jesus Christ. Wars, the climate crisis, the cost of living crisis, astronomical accommodation costs - all these things worry us, along with the health and circumstances of our own families, yet we can walk with a sense of God's purpose.

Apostle Paul is aware of the state of the creation in Romans 8, observing that it is in 'bondage to decay.' The trajectory of human beings' impact and presence in the creation has been on a march to scarcity and overuse, due to our propensity for excess and greed as a species. Technologies and communication have added both pressure on the creation and increased our knowledge about it. Our increased knowledge has done little to slow the impact of the 'fallen' nature of our species and our effect on the planet.

Yet God's shalom will come at the right time, God's time, and the heavens and the earth will be renewed. God's grace through Jesus Christ enables us to experience the shalom now by faith, even if everything seems wrong with the world. Our faith in God enables us to hope for God's intervention and walk in the midst of trouble expecting God to somehow fulfill God's purposes in us. Chris Tiegreen writes; 'Let every ache, every pang of hunger, every frustration in life push you in the right direction.'

We are called to live simply and selflessly here and now, trusting in God's purposes for us and the world, know God will not forsake the good creation God has made. Therefore, we are enabled and invited to be part of healing the creation and our communities, as a people of hope.

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