top of page

Watching and Waiting - Pastor's Pen for 11th December 2022

Isaiah 35: 1-10 is one of the readings for the 3rd week of Advent. We find here that the coming of God's kingdom and ways are not simply a human phenomenon, but encompass the whole of creation.

We find a transformational text, where the weak will be strengthened, the anxious will be emboldened, and God will put things to rights. The blind will see and the deaf will hear, and the 'lame shall leap like a deer'.

We find an environmental text where the land which is barren will be watered, and God's pathway will be made plain. These verses are presented to us, the church, as we anticipate one of the high points of the Christian year, the coming of Jesus Christ into the world. Why?

Perhaps we are called as members of the wider human family at Christmas, to contribute to causes that redress the hurt, brokenness and lack that others experience. I recently read a pointedly cynical article by Andrea Vance on Stuff pointing out the shallowness of politicians of all stripes and their photo ops and sound bites. She writes perceptively on the opportunistic responses of politicians to rising retail crimes and associated violence. Regarding the spike in violent robberies and ram raids, Vance writes:

" These increases are serious and should not be trivialized. Yet, it appears to have escaped the notice of our politicians that the spike has occurred in a cost-of-living crisis – as if there was no relation to poverty and crime.

It would be a mistake for lawmakers to overlook solutions that address the broader, ongoing social and economic needs of poor communities in favour of unnecessarily punitive sentencing. But, of course they will. "

My own opinion is that both Labour and National led governments have been somewhat complacent on the problematic nature of accommodation in New Zealand (owning or renting) for at least four decades. Shame on them, it's time to work together so that even those with low paid jobs might just be able to live with some semblance of dignity. Certainly we are seeing the outworking of governments consistent neglect in real time. A consequence of 'generation rent' is that our communities are more transient. It's hard to put down roots and contribute consistently. This inevitably has an impact on community institutions like the church.

What is the role of the church? Certainly not to become polarised and join the spectator sport of blaming the poor or blaming the rich. Maybe contribute to things that build community and bring healing and balance in the place where we live. It was heartwarming to hear of some of our folk visiting the community garden after church last Sunday, and taking food to share. Perhaps our simplest response might be to put an extra thing in the food bank. It all helps.

As we are watching and waiting for Christmas, we can reflect on what gift we bring to be part of God's healing and transforming mission to mend the world through Jesus Christ.

32 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page