Hungry and Thirsty for Good News

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Britain voting to leave the European Union yesterday has shocked and upset me.  No one can be certain of the consequences and already Sterling has plummeted and there is news of jobs moving away from Britain.  Everyone is talking about it and on my social media timelines there is widespread despair.

It is good to remember that as a Christian I am a citizen of another Kingdom and can have the greatest hope, but I still find myself desperate for good news, and I am craving for a glimmer of certainty.

How humbling to be like this and how helpful for my understanding of many people around the world, including in the UK, who live like this everyday.  There is no good news, there is no certainty, the rug has been pulled from under their feet and mine.  I want to learn from this and through recognising the desperation in myself, understand the desperation of others more.

Maybe then I will appreciate the value of the good news I do have, the greatest good news, the gospel.  Christ died for us whilst we were still sinners and offers us forgiveness and everlasting life and hope with Him.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…..

Why Brexit is giving the UK a taste of US politics

Whilst I have been living in the US I have been able to explain to Americans that the British multi-party system is much more positive than their own two party system.  The Republicans and Democrats seem constantly to oppose and attack each other, and every issue becomes polarised.  The middle ground is quite simply empty.

In the UK however, if one party, lets say the Tories, suggests a policy prescription then very often, yes, the other parties will oppose it and point out the negatives.  But, at some point, the opposing parties have to differentiate themselves from each other.  It may take months, but eventually Labour, for example, will have to say something along the lines of ‘well we don’t agree with what the Tories propose but here’s what we would do and it’s different from what the Liberal Democrats are suggesting’.

In the UK’s political system some positivity (and I do admit it can be hard to find) is inbuilt into the system.  The mutiple parties have to distinguish themselves from each other by saying something useful every once in a while.

All this has changed however in the Brexit vote where the UK has been given just two choices and the sides have become polarised and the argument vicious, not to mention the horrific killing of Jo Cox MP.  This is the situation Americans, with their two party system, find themselves in all the time.  Their politics is only vicious and negative.

What can we learn from all this?  Americans need to look seriously at a multi-party system that would move them away from the polarisation and negativty that characterises every policy debate.

As for us in the UK, we should be more thankful for the system we have.  Interestingly though, it is our press that tries to polarise the debate for us.  Newspapers tend to pick one party and support them unerringly.  It is our media that gets vicious and it is much more so than the American press.  Frankly if the newspaper you buy obviously supports just one party, stop buying it.  The hatred in the UK press is horrible and we should be ashamed of that.

Praying with Steve Jobs

I’ve had the phenomenal privilege over the past six weeks to be part of a Sante Group with the fabulous Kate McCord, author of ‘In the Land of Blue Burqas’.  A small group of us have met over the internet (using the App Join.me, it’s rather like a group Skype) and have used seven different prayer methods to journey to know Jesus more.

One of our prayer methods was to pray using a picture.  First we were to read the passages in the bible about Jesus’ baptism.  Then prayerfully find a picture that resonated with us and the story.

Banksy

I chose this one.  It is a photo of graffiti by Banksy, showing Steve Jobs as a refugee in Calais.  Like Jesus and John the Baptist, Steve Jobs turned up where the authorities weren’t expecting him; he is the son of a Syrian refugee.  John the Baptist and Jesus defied expectations too, they were unusual cousins.  The religious leaders of the time denounced them and eventually killed Jesus.  John didn’t survive either.

My time with Kate and the Sante Group has sadly come to an end now, it has been amazing, but she is starting several new groups and they are open to anyone to join them.  I can’t recommend them enough, if you’d like to join one please take a look at this website and e-mail Kate, she will let you know when groups are about to start.

Invitation: Santé Knowing Jesus Group

Keep on roaring!

I LOVE this weekly podcast, it’s hosted by Phil Vischer who is the man behind Veggie Tales. They discuss all kinds of contemporary matters and the three regular panelists have a great group dynamic, Skye Jethani is one of them. Each podcast is like the best home/cell group meeting you’ve ever been to.
This week they discuss whether Christians should ever be civilly disobedient. On Day 21 in Destination: Transformation the idea of being a lion (rather than a lamb) and roaring against injustice is posited, the podcast is a great follow up to this.