Psalm 145: 3-13
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendour of your majesty – and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works – and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.
All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you.
They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might,
so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendour of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.
In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s no lack of turmoil, confusion, division and anger swirling around at the moment. On the heels of our own Brexit shock, we woke on Wednesday morning to the news that the United States had finally decided who would lead their nation into the next four years. Many are bewildered, others jubilant. Some have had their dreams fulfilled, for others this is an inconceivable nightmare. However, in the midst of such widespread turbulence, the people of God have always had the same mandate: engage prayerfully with the process, seek the good of the city, but never forget: “…since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire.’” (Heb 12: 28-29) We serve the One whose “….kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.” (Psalm 145: 13)
While events, politics and leadership on the world stage are experiencing seismic shifts, our calling to represent well the King of all kings remains the same. Our divine commission to bring life to the city, work towards justice for the poor, marginalised and oppressed, and share the transforming message of the Gospel in word and deed, transcends all political ideologies and empires. We work both from the ground up but also from Heaven down; from the grassroots to the pinnacles of power.
It is with this mission and mandate from Jesus that we, as a church, are seeking to build a centre of help, hope, empowerment and transformation for our city. As the above Psalm makes very clear, compassion in action, expressed through different generations, is at the very centre of God’s heart.
While providing for people in crisis with food, clothes, emotional support, debt counselling etc. will always be vitally important, we believe the God-sized dream is to see individuals, communities, businesses and organisations released to fulfil their fullest potential. Our dream has been expanded into creating space for education and employment where people can be trained in new skills and our community is released to create jobs so that the entire region flourishes. The dream is to move from a Sunday food giveaway to a Monday job giveaway.
This coming Sunday we each have an opportunity to be part of writing this new story for our city. As we prepare to receive our special offering, please be prayerful and intentional in deciding how much you will give. We are building something which will outlast us, we are seeking to leave a legacy for generations to come. We echo the words of the prophet Jeremiah: “…seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you….Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jer 29: 7)