Message from our Pastor

A mess!  That is what life often is.  We tend to like things neatly packaged and well ordered, but it often doesn’t turn out like that.  For example we probably have it in our minds that justice should and must be done in all situations.  It is why we enjoy seeing the bad guy in a film getting his come-uppance and the wronged hero or heroine being vindicated.

 In reality, however, that doesn’t happen, and in many cases the situation isn’t as black and white as we might first suspect.  How often have you read an article or witness statement from one perspective and found yourself agreeing with it, even being outraged at what has happened?  You then read an article or witness statement from another perspective from the opposite perspective and find yourself agreeing with that too.  We are often persuaded by clever and emotive arguments, but the fact is both can’t be right.  In fact discerning the truth can be very tricky indeed.  I know all about this from dealing with different pastoral conflicts and even church and ministry fallouts on a larger scale.  In most cases of relationship fallout and breakdown there is blame and fault on both sides, and it is often unhelpful to blindly take sides.  Assuming one person or group is 100% in the right just ends up polarising opinion (social media is a particularly dangerous breeding ground for this).  Pilate’s old question to Jesus: “What is truth?” (cf John 18:38) comes to mind quite frequently.

 We are certainly called to be searchers after truth.  We also have to be steadfast about holding to certain objective cast-iron truths.  The reality of God, Jesus’ claims to divinity, the resurrection, to name but a few.  However for other matters there is usually a high degree of guesswork: Who was in the right in the neighbour war?, and Who hit who in the car accident?  often seem to be impossible questions to definitively or accurately answer for example.

 So the reality is that there will be unsolved crimes and unresolved situations this side of eternity.  This can be hard to come to terms with and we might even be tempted to question the fairness of life and even God’s role in it.  The Israelites were certainly inclined to do so.  See for example Malachi 3:15: “From now on we will call the arrogant blessed.  For those who do evil get rich, and those who dare God to punish them suffer no harm.” (NLT)

 However, we do know that Christ will return again to judge the world and make all things right.  Justice and vengeance is ultimately in His hands.  Let us leave these things to God, ask for His wisdom in discerning how to handle difficult situations and in all things choose the path of humility, faith, love and grace.

 Alan