This last week the Washington State government announced a new budget with major cutbacks that will impact social programmes, education and societal infrastructure. It is but one of a long line of federal, state and local governing bodies around the world that have done so. And all this with a backdrop of uncertainty for all of us, not just because of the economic volatility of our time but also because of our growing concern for environmental and societal upheaval that seem to face our planet.
Repairing the damages of the earthquake in Christchurch NZ, the tsunami in Japan and the tornadoes in the midwest of the US are daunting challenges that will impact all our lives for years to come. And these are but the last of a long list of disasters that have hit our global neighbourhood in the last few years. In the midst of all this I find myself once more asking the question How do we maintain our stability in the midst of such change? and probably more importantly How do we equip ourselves to be God’s compassion and care during such times?
Pentecost is not far away and as I mentioned yesterday we are about to launch ourselves into that season of the church year that many of us refer to as kingdomtide – the season to be God’s representatives reaching out into our world. It is a good time to take stock of our resources and strengthen the foundations that will maintain us and even grow us and God’s church through these turbulent times.
Over the next few days I plan to write a series of posts that are my attempt to address these issues. I look forward to your feedback and contributions. The future into which we are moving is uncharted territory and we need to work together to better equip and inspire each other to grow in our faith and serve more effectively in God’s world.
What enables you to not only maintain your spiritual, and emotional stability during this season but also provides you with the resources you need to reach out into God’s world with compassion and love?
The posts I am planning are:
Believe in the future – God’s vision to inspire and encourage
Build on the rock – spiritual foundations for a rapidly changing world
Cultivate change – building foundations in turbulent times
Grow together – accepting limitations and strengthening the church & our communities in times of change.
If you have suggestions for other posts or would like to contribute one yourself that enables others to be better equipped for the future I welcome your help and contributions.
To end here is a prayer that is part of a liturgy I wrote a couple of years ago for these turbulent times
God, who sent Joseph into Egypt to prepare a place for your people,
We believe you still provide for the needs of all who cry out to you.
God, who fed the five thousand with a handful of fish and loaves,
We believe you are still able to multiply our efforts and feed all who are empty.
God, who asks us not to worry about tomorrow but to trust in your daily provision,
We believe you still desire to transform our scarcity into your abundance and plenty. God, who sent your Son to share our fears and carry our anxieties,
We believe we can give up our burdens and open the floodgates for your mercy and compassion to flow.
God whose heart aches for all who are hurting and in need
May we be your hearts of compassion and your hands of caring this day and ever more